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Lynx vs. Sparks Final Score: Lindsay Whalen leads Minnesota late to beat L.A., 85-72

The Minnesota Lynx (8-1) got to a big lead early, saw it evaporate, but they ultimately prevailed over the Los Angeles Sparks (3-4), 85-72. Lindsay Whalen stepped up in the clutch to close the game out.

Photo courtesy of Stewart W. Small

The Minnesota Lynx got back to their winning ways by making key plays down the stretch to beat the Los Angeles Sparks, 85-72.

The Sparks were down by as few three points at several points during the fourth quarter. Once, it was a 73-70 game after a Kristi Toliver three with 5:38 left. Then it was 75-72 after Nneka Ogwumike made two free throws with 4:33 left. But from then on, Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen scored six straight points, and Minny never looked back from there.

What was a bit surprising at best, or concerning at worst, is that the Sparks failed to score another point for the rest of the game. They didn't even have a free throw attempt.

Even though the Sparks were close at times, this game was basically one where they just played catch up against Minnesota. The Lynx started out hot and dominated the first quarter, 30-16. But the Sparks countered with a big run of their own in the second, where Candace Parker scored 11 of L.A.'s 21 points in the period, and helped get the Sparks within five at halftime. She ultimately had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the game. Jantel Lavender and Ogwumike added 12 and 10 points respectively.

For the Lynx, Whalen ended up with 19 points and 7 assists, while Seimone Augustus scored 26 points to lead all scorers. All five Lynx starters scored in double figures as well.

Minnesota is back on the right track after last Friday's loss to the Seattle Storm. But for L.A., this 3-4 start is not the way that they anticipated to start their season to say the least.