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Sparks' late rally comes up short in 72-64 loss to Lynx

Sparks' late rally comes up short in 72-64 loss to Lynx
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) protects the ball against the double-team defense of Sparks center Jantel Lavender, left, and guard Ana Dabovic in the second half Sunday. (Stacy Bengs / Associated Press)

Maya Moore scored 20 points Sylvia Fowles added 15 and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks, 72-64, on Sunday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

The Sparks were without four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard, who left eight minutes into the first quarter and did not return. Beard was sidelined two games into the season by plantar fasciitis and returned after the All-Star Game along with two-time MVP Candace Parker.

With Parker and Beard in the lineup, Los Angeles had won four straight games, including an 83-61 win over the Lynx — Minnesota's worst loss of the season.

Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 18 points.

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Renee Montgomery's driving layup capped a run of 13 consecutive points in the first quarter to give Minnesota a 20-6 lead and the Lynx held a 37-32 lead at halftime.

Los Angeles (7-15) battled back and Kristi Toliver's fourth three-pointer of the game pulled the Sparks within one with 4:58 left, but Minnesota (16-6) answered with six straight points to push its lead to 65-58.

The Western Conference-leading Lynx lost back-to-back games at Los Angeles and Phoenix before coming home for the rematch with the Sparks. Minnesota is 9-2 at home and holds a two-game lead over second-place Phoenix in the conference standings.

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