Lynx beat Sparks 80-64, spoil return of Augustus


MINNEAPOLIS — Crystal Dangerfield was 4 of 5 from 3-point range and finished with 16 points and Minnesota beat the Los Angeles Sparks 80-64 on Saturday night, spoiling the return of Lynx great — and current Sparks assistant coach — Seimone Augustus.

The Lynx announced earlier Saturday the franchise will retire the jersey numbers of both Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson during the 2022 season. Brunson’s No. 32 and Augustus’ No. 33 will be the second and third numbers officially retired in franchise history, joining Lindsay Whalen’s No. 13.

Augustus made her return to Minnesota for the first time since announcing her retirement in May. The eight-time All-Star spent 14 of her 15 WNBA seasons with the Lynx, where she won four WNBA titles, before playing last season with the Sparks.

The first overall pick in the 2006 draft is Minnesota’s all-time scoring leader with 5,881 points, and also ranks first in franchise history in regular season games played (370), games started (365) and minutes played (10,917).

Augustus retired 10th in league scoring with 6,005 points. She held career averages of 15.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists. She also earned three Olympic gold medals with team USA in 2008, 2012, and 2016.

Crystal Dangerfield made back-to-back 3-pointer in a tiebreaking 10-0 run to close the first quarter and open the second and her 3 with 10.2 seconds left in the second quarter made it 49-35 at halftime. The Lynx never again trailed.

L.A. used a 12-0 run to tie it at 54-all on a jumper by Te’a Cooper with 1:54 left in the third quarter and her 3-pointer less than a minute later made it 57-57, but Rachel Banham answered each time with a 3-pointer.

Sylvia Fowles had 15 points, nine rebounds, a career-high five steals and four blocks and Banham scored 12 points, making 4 of 4 from behind the arc, for Minnesota (4-5).

Cooper led the Sparks (4-5) with 17 points. Amanda Zahui B. added 15 points and eight rebounds and Kristi Toliver added 13 points and five assists.

L.A. shot just 32.9% (23 of 70) from the field, including 8 of 23 (34.8%) from 3-point range.

Minnesota’s Aerial Powers, who returned from a five-game absence due a hamstring injury, appeared to have dislocated her thumb late in the first half. She finished the second quarter and played about five minutes in the third before leaving the game for good.


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