ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Sylvia Fowles had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Renee Montgomery scored a season-high 20 points, and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks 88-77 on Thursday night in a rematch of the WNBA Finals.
Los Angeles won the title last year, taking the deciding fifth game 77-76 in Minnesota on Nneka Ogwumike’s short jumper with 3.1 seconds left.
On Thursday, Minnesota (13-1) was ahead by 19 points in the first half, but Los Angeles (12-4) cut it to 53-49 midway through the third quarter. The Sparks had won eight straight.
Plenette Pierson’s open 3-pointer from the wing with 7:31 left gave Minnesota the first double-digit lead of the fourth quarter. Fowles made a layup for an 84-77 lead with 1:23 to go and after a Los Angeles turnover, Rebekkah Brunson followed her own miss for a nine-point lead.
Seimone Augustus added 16 points for Minnesota (13-1), and Maya Moore had 10 to move past Asjha Jones for 30th in WNBA history with 4,007.
Ogwumike had 27 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles. Candace Parker was scoreless in the first half and her only points came on a fast-break layup with 6:26 left in the third quarter. It was only her second game this season scoring under 10 points.
LIBERTY 79, STORM 70
SEATTLE (AP) — Tina Charles had 12 rebounds to become the franchise leader and scored 29 points in New York’s victory over Seattle.
Charles has 1,062 rebounds with New York. She broke the franchise mark of 1,053 set by Vicki Johnson.
Charles blocked Breanna Stewart’s layup and hit a bank shot at the other end to extend New York’s lead to 58-52. The Liberty added two free throws at the end of the third quarter for an eight-point lead.
Stewart and Sami Whitcomb each made a 3-pointer on consecutive Seattle possessions to pull to 70-64 with 5:46 left. But after a timeout, Charles answered with a three-point play.
Kia Vaughn had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Epiphanny Prince added 16 points for New York (8-7).
Stewart had 20 points and 14 rebounds for Seattle (7-9). Sue Bird made her first basket of the game with 8:14 left in the fourth to snap a six-plus minute field-goal drought for the Storm.