Lynx rolls over Sparks 82:67

Lynx rolls over Sparks 82:67

Bridget Carleton scored 16 points, Dorka Juhasz added 15 points, six rebounds and two blocks and the Minnesota Lynx swept the host Los Angeles Sparks 82-67 on Tuesday night.

The Lynx (16-6), who only led by five points with 4:14 minutes left in the second quarter, extended their lead to 16 at halftime and even reached 20 points just before the middle of the third quarter, comfortably securing their second win in a row.

Minnesota played its second consecutive game without Napheesa Collier (plantar fasciitis), who ranks fourth in the league in both points (20.0) and rebounds (10.2) per game.

Dearica Hamby led the Sparks (5-17) with 18 points, surpassing the 3,000-point mark in her 10-year WNBA career. She made 7 of 9 shots and grabbed eight rebounds, but also had five turnovers.

Carleton hit all four of its three-point attempts and made 6 of 7 shots, while Minnesota shot 49.2 percent overall. Los Angeles shot 41.1 percent and also had 20 turnovers, including seven in the third quarter when the Lynx tied the game.

Minnesota scored points from all nine players who played in the first quarter and took a 15-point lead with 41.5 seconds left in the period after Diamond Miller scored a layup off a pass from Alissa Pili.

Hamby’s layup with 32.7 seconds left gave Lynx a 29-16 lead heading into the second quarter. Layshia Clarendon set up the basket for her second assist of the game, reaching 900 points in her career.

A trio of players helped the Sparks get back into the game in the second quarter, as Los Angeles went on a 10-3 run to pull within 37-32. During that run, Hamby scored five points, Azura Stevens hit a 3-pointer and added an assist, and Aari McDonald added two points and two assists.

The Lynx responded, however, with a 12-1 run. Juhasz scored four points and Kayla McBride and Carleton each hit a three-pointer to increase the lead to 49-33 with 1:05 left in the second quarter. Minnesota led 51-35 at halftime.

McDonald scored the first basket of the third quarter to cut the Lynx lead to 14, but Minnesota scored eight of the next 10 points to take a 20-point lead at 59-39. There was no turning back that result.