Lynx win their third game in a row, beat Sparks 81-76

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 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 Los Angeles Sparks 81-76 on Friday night.

The Lynx 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.

Williams hit a 3-pointer that gave Minnesota the lead for good and Carleton made another 3 about two minutes later to cap 9-2 spurt that made it 57-50 late in the third quarter. The Sparks (4-9) trimmed ther 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 LA got no closer.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Ariel Atkins scored a season-high 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting to help Washington hold on to beat Chicago for their second consecutive win after 12 straight losses to open the season.

Julie Vanloo hit a 3-pointer with 2:49 to play that ended a scoring drought of 5-plus minutes for the Mystics (2-12) and stretched their lead to 79-71. Lindsay Allen answered with a layup, Chennedy Carter added a three-point play and Angel Reese was fouled as she made a layup and hit the and-1 free throw to cap an 8-1 spurt and trim Chicago’s deficit to 81-79 with 1:12 left.

Atkins responded with two free throws before Allen made a driving layup that made it a one-possession game with 50 seconds to go.

The teams exchanged empty possessions before Allen missed a potential winning corner 3-point shot in the closing seconds. Stefanie Dolson of the Mystics fouled out when she dived for the loose ball with 0.2 seconds left. Marina Mabrey — who went into the game shooting 83% from the line this season — missed thenfree throws and the Mystics held on.

Aaliyah Edwards, the No. 6 overall selection in the 2024 draft, fouled out with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

The Sky (4-8) have lost three games in a row and five of their last six.

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