The Minnesota Lynx clinched their second straight Western Conference championship the last time they faced the Los Angeles Sparks, who will have multiple opportunities coming up to obtain some measure of revenge.
Minnesota concludes a stretch of three straight road games Friday night against the Los Angeles Sparks in the first of three meetings in 12 days.
The Lynx (5-1), leading the WNBA with 86.5 points per game, have won three in a row after beating Phoenix 80-69 on Wednesday. Maya Moore scored 26 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds for Minnesota, which outscored the Mercury 24-9 in the fourth quarter.
"I am so blessed to be playing on this team. We play for each other," said Moore, second in the league with 20.8 points a game. "When we get into tough situations, we want to make sure we don't let each other down. We do it together, and that's why it's so fulfilling and why we're able to do it consistently."
The Lynx have won by an average of 14.2 points, though they may have a much more difficult time dispatching the Sparks (3-2).
After the teams split four regular-season meetings last year, Minnesota beat Los Angeles 80-79 in Game 2 of the conference finals to sweep the series. Seimone Augustus scored 21 points in the finale and Moore added 20 to help overcome 33 points and 15 rebounds from Candace Parker.
The Lynx will host the teams' next matchup June 28th before visiting Los Angeles again July 2.
"It's another road test," Moore said. "We're the top teams in the West right now and every game is going to be a battle. They have a lot of talent. I'm excited, anxious to play them for the first time this season."
The feeling may be mutual for Los Angeles after an 84-48 win over San Antonio on Saturday. Nneka Ogwumike scored 16 points while Parker and Kristi Toliver added 13 points and six assists apiece.
The Sparks held the Silver Stars to 30.2 percent shooting in bouncing back after suffering a 16-point loss at Phoenix the night before.
"It's not this game, it's the next game that's going to tell us if this is a trend or if this is just a one-game thing," Parker said. " So right now you're just trying to figure out which team is going to show up (Friday) - the team from Phoenix or the team from (Saturday). We just have to make sure it's a positive trend, for sure.''
It's uncertain if guard Lindsey Harding will be able to play against Minnesota after she sat out the last contest with a right eye contusion suffered against the Mercury.
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