Sparks-Lynx Preview

The Associated Press

The Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks are both coming off poor defensive showings.

Minnesota is hoping to draw on its recent home performances against Los Angeles to help it bounce back in Tuesday night's matchup.

The Lynx (13-6) suffered an 87-80 loss at New York on Sunday, giving up a career-high 32 points to Tina Charles, including 24 in the first half. New York scored 11 of the final 15 points and shot 52.1 percent with Charles going 14 for 20. Minnesota surrendered its second-highest point total in six weeks and was outrebounded 36-31.

"When you are trying to win on the road in this league you need to play well on defense and rebound, we didn't do either well down the stretch," said Maya Moore, who scored 25.

The Sparks (7-10) have dropped two of three, allowing 90-plus points in those defeats. They fell 94-89 at home to Phoenix on Sunday, letting the Mercury shoot 55.6 percent, including 10 of 15 from 3-point range. Diana Taurasi made seven 3-pointers and scored 32 points.

Kristi Toliver scored 26 but committed a turnover leading to Taurasi's final 3 with 8.7 seconds left. Nneka Ogwumike missed two layups in the final 1:31 for Los Angeles, which led by five with 5:37 remaining.

"We shouldn't have had to battle back," said Candace Parker, who scored 10 of her 27 points in the fourth quarter. "I'm tired of all of us being right there. We better get it together soon."

The Lynx won two meetings in Los Angeles earlier this season, 85-72 on June 8 and 94-77 on June 17, with Moore scoring 31 on 12-of-16 shooting in the second matchup.

Minnesota, 7-1 at home with four straight victories, has won the last seven meetings in Minneapolis while limiting the Sparks to 72.6 points per game. The Lynx haven't lost at home to Los Angeles since falling 78-77 on a buzzer-beater Aug. 12, 2010.

The status of Minnesota guard Seimone Augustus is unclear after she missed her third straight game Sunday due to left knee bursitis. Augustus, who participated in warmups, is averaging 17.2 points and scored a season-high 26 in the first matchup with Los Angeles.

Monica Wright scored 11 while starting in her place, three days after recording a season-high 17 points in a 91-84 win over San Antonio.

Forward Rebekkah Brunson, who averaged 10.6 points and 8.9 rebounds last year, has yet to play this season after right knee surgery.