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Roundup: Napheesa Collier’s consistency has Lynx on hot streak

Napheesa Collier is delivering consistently good stat lines and her Minnesota Lynx have won three of four.

Indiana Fever v Minnesota Lynx
Napheesa Collier
Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

Two Kayla McBride free throws with 18 seconds remaining essentially ended a 77-72 Minnesota Lynx victory over the Los Angeles Sparks Friday night at Arena in Los Angeles.

A 3-point play from Napheesa Collier that made it 74-70 with 1:06 remaining was key. After that Nneka Ogwumike made a layup that cut it to two before Dorka Juhász went 1-of-2 at the stripe to make it 75-72. LA (5-5) was unable to score again.

Collier finished with 25 points, six rebounds and two blocks while McBride was good for 16 points, five boards and two steals. Collier was 8-of-10 on 2-point shots; McBride was 5-of-5.

Minnesota (3-7) held Nneka to eight points, which was half her previous season low. Nneka added five rebounds, a season-high seven assists and two swipes.

Other Friday action

Washington Mystics (6-4) over Phoenix Mercury (2-7), 88-69

The Mercury were without Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi due to injuries.

Elena Delle Donne paced Washington with 17 points, adding three assists. Brittney Sykes notched an impressive five steals to go along with 16 points, four boards and three helpers. Her steal total matched a season high and was two off her career high. Ariel Atkins was one off her season high for assists with five, adding 11 points and three rejections. Rookie Li Meng played 26:51 and scored 14 points. Her previous career highs were 17:53 and six, respectively.

Michaela Onyenwere (20 points) posted the second-highest point total of her career in defeat. The only time she scored more was during her Rookie of the Year campaign in 2021; she had 29 on May 29 of that year. On Friday, Onyenwere added nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Both Sykes (eye) and Shakira Austin (knee) left the game early with injuries.

Thursday action

Atlanta Dream (4-5) over Connecticut Sun (8-3), 92-88

Cheyenne Parker scored inside with 0.5 seconds remaining, tying the game and forcing overtime. An AD Durr free throw with nine seconds remaining in OT ensured that DiJonai Carrington’s 3-point shot with a second left wouldn’t have tied the game if it went in.

Allisha Gray dropped a career-high 27 points for the Dream, adding 10 rebounds. She was 10-of-14 from the field. Haley Jones (10 points) and Rhyne Howard (19 points) racked up the assists with nine and six, respectively. Parker finished with 19 points.

Brionna Jones notched 28 points, 13 boards and two steals in defeat. Alyssa Thomas tried to help her out with 23 points, six rebounds, seven helpers and three swipes.

Indiana Fever (4-6) over Chicago Sky (5-6), 92-90

Kelsey Mitchel made a step-back deep two that put the Fever up 92-90 with 1.1 seconds remaining. Alanna Smith then missed a deep three at the buzzer.

Aliyah Boston remained hot with 19 points and eight rebounds. Kelsey Mitchell (five assists) and NaLyssa Smith (eight boards) added 15 points apiece. Victoria Vivians was good for 17 points and three helpers while Erica Wheeler notched 10 points and four assists. Vivians was 7-of-9 from the field and 2-of-3 from three. Boston was 7-of-7 at the free throw line.

The Sky were playing without Kahleah Copper (personal) and received a career-high 36 points from Marina Mabrey.

Las Vegas Aces (9-1) over Seattle Storm (2-7), 96-63

The Aces’ big five all contributed in a significant way, though it was Jackie Young with the most points (28) by a comfortable margin ahead of Kelsey Plum (19). A’ja Wilson added 14 points and 12 rebounds while Chelsea Gray and Candace Parker were the main distributors with nine and six assists, respectively. Plum added four helpers.

Young was 12-of-18 from the field and 4-of-7 from distance. Plum was 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Ezi Magbegor was phenomenal in defeat with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Jewell Loyd and Ivana Dojkic added 17 and 16 points, respectively.

Vegas made seven more threes than Seattle and won field goal percentage 55.7 to 37.5.