Rickea Jackson’s first double-double can’t save Sparks from loss to Minnesota

Sparks forward Rickea Jackson shoots a free-throw against the Atlanta Dream.
Sparks forward Rickea Jackson, shown here shooting a free throw against Atlanta in May, finished with 19 points in the Sparks’ 81-76 loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Friday.
(Jeff Lewis / Associated Press)
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Napheesa Collier scored 30 points to go with a career-high eight steals, Courtney Williams had 15 points and 10 assists for her first double-double of the season and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Sparks 81-76 on Friday night.

The Lynx (10-3) have won three consecutive games and six of their last seven.

Williams also finished with eight rebounds and four steals. Alanna Smith scored 12 points and Bridget Carleton added 11 for Minnesota.

Rookie Rickea Jackson, the No. 4 pick in the 2024 draft, had her first career double-double, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds, to lead the Sparks.


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Williams hit a three-pointer that gave Minnesota the lead for good and Carleton made another three about two minutes later to cap 9-2 spurt that made it 57-50 late in the third quarter. The Sparks (4-9) trimmed their deficit to 63-61 when Lexie Brown made a layup with 7:33 to play but Williams hit a pull-up jumper 24 seconds later and they got no closer.

Dearica Hamby, who signed a one-year contract extension with the Sparks on Thursday, added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Aari McDonald scored 14 with seven assists and Brown finished with 12 points.

Kia Nurse made a driving layup to give the Sparks an 8-7 lead and spark a 16-2 run capped when McDonald made two free throws that made it a 10-point game late in the first quarter.

Brown’s layup with 3:01 left in the the second quarter stretched the lead to 40-28 but Williams answered with a pull-up jumper and Collier scored Minnesota’s next nine points to make it a one possession game before Hamby made a layup to give the Sparks a 44-39 halftime lead.