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Balanced Attack Carries Lynx to One-Sided Victory Over Sparks

Balanced Attack Carries Lynx to One-Sided Victory Over Sparks

Bridget Carleton (6) of the Minnesota Lynx in the second half in Los Angeles on June 5, 2024. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Field Level Media
Field Level Media

7/9/2024

Updated: 7/10/2024

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LOS ANGELES—Bridget Carleton scored 16 points, Dorka Juhasz added 15 points, six rebounds, and two blocked shots, and the Minnesota Lynx blew out the Los Angeles Sparks 82–67 on Tuesday night, Jan. 9.
The Lynx (16–6), which led by only five points with 4:14 left in the second quarter, pushed the advantage to 16 at halftime and saw it reach 20 just before the midpoint of the third quarter. Minnesota coasted to its second straight win.
The Lynx played its second straight game without Napheesa Collier because of plantar fasciitis. She ranks fourth in the WNBA in both points (20.0) and rebounds (10.2) per game.
Dearica Hamby led the Sparks (5–17) with 18 points, surpassing 3,000 for her 10-year WNBA career. She was 7-for-9 from the field and added eight rebounds, but she also had five turnovers.
Carleton hit all four of her 3-point attempts in going 6-for-7 from the floor as Minnesota shot 49.2 percent overall. Los Angeles finished at 41.1 percent from the floor and also had 20 turnovers, including seven in the third quarter as the Lynx put the game away.
Minnesota got points from all nine players who took the court in the first quarter, and it led by 15 with 41.5 seconds left in the period after Diamond Miller’s layup off a feed from Alissa Pili. Hamby’s layup with 32.7 seconds left made it 29–16 Lynx going into the second quarter. Layshia Clarendon set up the bucket for her second assist of the game, giving her 900 for her career.
A trio of players helped the Sparks get back into the game in the second quarter, as Los Angeles went on a 10–3 run to pull within 37–32. During that burst, Hamby scored five points, Azura Stevens hit a 3-pointer and added an assist, and Aari McDonald chipped in two points and two assists.
The Lynx responded with a 12–1 run, however. Juhasz scored four points, and Kayla McBride and Carleton each hit a trey as the lead grew to 49–33 with 1:05 to go in the second quarter. Minnesota led 51–35 at the break.
McDonald scored the first basket of the third quarter to trim the Lynx’s lead to 14, but Minnesota scored eight of the next 10 points to lead 59–39 and never looked back.
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