Napheesa Collier Scores 30 as Lynx Rally Past Sparks

Napheesa Collier Scores 30 as Lynx Rally Past Sparks
Cameron Brink (22) of the Los Angeles Sparks and Napheesa Collier (24) of the Minnesota Lynx in Los Angeles on June 5, 2024. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Field Level Media

Napheesa Collier scored 30 points and Courtney Williams added 15 points and 10 assists as the Minnesota Lynx came from behind to beat the visiting Los Angeles Sparks 81–76 on Friday in Minneapolis.

The Lynx (10–3) trailed by 12 points midway through the second quarter but trimmed their deficit to five by halftime. Minnesota took the lead with a 7–0 run to open the third quarter.

Los Angeles got within two points early in the fourth quarter. Rickea Jackson’s short jumper with 10.5 seconds trimmed the Lynx’s lead to 79–76.

Collier then hit two free throws on the ensuing possession, and the Lynx held on to win for the sixth time in their past seven games. Alanna Smith added 12 points and Bridget Carleton had 11 for Minnesota.

Jackson scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Los Angeles (4–9). Dearica Hamby added 16 points and 11 rebounds, Aari McDonald contributed 14 points and Lexie Brown tallied 12 off the bench.

The Sparks dropped their second straight game after winning back-to-back contests for the first time this season.

Los Angeles got off to a hot start and led 14–7 when Jackson hit two free throws with 4:18 left in the first quarter. Hamby’s 3-pointer at the buzzer pushed the Sparks’ advantage to 25–14 after one quarter.

Nine straight points from Collier, punctuated by a pair of free throws with 25.4 seconds remaining in the period, allowed Minnesota to trim its 12-point deficit to just three.

Hamby scored on a second-chance layup at the buzzer to carry Los Angeles to a 44–39 lead at the break.

Collier led all scorers with 17 points before halftime. Hamby and Brown paced the Sparks with 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the first half. Both teams went 15-of-29 (51.7 percent) from the floor in the first half.

After their 7–0 start to the third quarter, the Lynx never trailed again.