Lynx-Sparks Preview

The Associated Press

The Minnesota Lynx just exacted some revenge by routing the Los Angeles Sparks in Minneapolis. Winning at Staples Center poses an altogether different challenge for them.

Meeting for the third time in 11 days, the Lynx will try to end the Sparks' 15-game home win streak Tuesday night.

After getting blown out 87-59 in Los Angeles on June 21 - their most lopsided defeat since 2011 - the Lynx (7-2) have posted back-to-back victories. They followed up an 88-79 win over Tulsa on June 23 by beating the Sparks 88-64 on Friday.

Minnesota led Los Angeles by nine heading into the second quarter after falling behind by 14 after 10 minutes in the first matchup.

"We felt like in L.A. they punched us in the mouth first,'' said Seimone Augustus, who scored 19 points after finishing with a season-low six June 21. "They were the aggressors, so we definitely want to protect our home court and come out and be more aggressive.''

The Sparks (5-4) likely can't wait to get home for their next three games after falling to 0-4 on the road with a 94-82 loss to Chicago on Saturday. Los Angeles was outrebounded by six and committed 13 turnovers.

"To win on the road you really have to defend and rebound, you've got to take care of the ball and do all the little things,'' coach Carol Ross said. "We're not there yet.''

The Sparks are the only team without a road win, but they're undefeated at home in the regular season since a 91-71 loss to San Antonio on June 24, 2012. The run started with a 96-90 victory over the Lynx on July 5.

Minnesota has dropped nine of 10 regular-season games at Los Angeles.

Candace Parker, leading the Sparks with 16.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, finished with a season-low five points in 17 minutes in the Lynx's last visit. However, she's made 25 of 48 field-goal attempts at home.

The Sparks are shooting 51.3 percent at Staples, but were held to a season-low 36.9 percent Friday.

"The type of defense we played and the approach to the game was championship basketball,'' Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. "They took great pride and came out and played in a way we can all be proud of.''

Though Maya Moore and Augustus totaled 31 points Friday - below their combined average - they were held to eight June 21.

Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen finished with two points, no assists and two boards in that contest, but she had team highs of 20 points and six assists along with five rebounds Friday.

"I wanted to be more active after watching the tape of the game out in L.A.,'' Whalen said. "I thought we needed a little more tempo and aggressiveness off the start. A lot of that starts from the perimeter.''

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