Behind 41 bench points, the Minnesota Lynx overcame 22 turnovers to defeat the Los Angeles Sparks 80-64 in Saturday’s Commissioner’s Cup matchup in Minneapolis.
The Lynx won despite getting outscored 22-8 in the third quarter.
Crystal Dangerfield led the charge off the bench for Minnesota (4-5), scoring a team-high 16 points. Fellow reserve Rachel Banham added 12 points and grabbed five rebounds, and Sylvia Fowles was the only Minnesota starter in double-figures with 15 points.
Two of Fowles’ points helped put away the win, as she came away with one of her five steals on the night with 2:38 to go and hit a mid-range jumper on the other end.
Fowles also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and blocked four shots. Her defensive contributions helped Minnesota hold Los Angeles to just 23-of-70 shooting from the floor.
The Lynx’s defense took over in the fourth quarter, holding the Sparks (4-5) to just seven points in the period. Minnesota ran off the quarter’s first eight points, a strong answer after a dismal third quarter saw Los Angeles pull even after the Lynx went into halftime with a 14-point lead.
Te’a Cooper scored nine of her game-high 17 points in the third quarter for the Sparks. Kristi Toliver and Amanda Zahui B joined Cooper in double-figures scoring with 13 and 15 points. Erica Wheeler finished with nine points and Nia Coffey scored eight.
Los Angeles got just two points from its bench, unable to match the production of Minnesota’s reserves.
The second string’s efforts buoyed the Lynx on an off-shooting night for Napheesa Collier, the team’s second-leading scorer, who went 4-of-14 from the floor for nine points.
Kayla McBride shot just 1-of-6 from the floor but was 6-of-6 at the foul line for eight points. In her return from a hamstring strain, Aerial Powers scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds off the bench.
–Field Level Media
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