Kayla McBride's big season debut carries Lynx past Sparks
Lynx finally get first win behind game-high 24 points from McBride
LOS ANGELES — Kayla McBride scored a game-high 24 points, including a tiebreaking three-point play with 2.1 seconds left, as the visiting Minnesota Lynx snapped a season-opening, four-game losing streak with an 87-84 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday.
After the Sparks' Liz Cambage tied the game at 84 with 15.1 seconds left on a turnaround jumper while getting fouled, she had a chance to give Los Angeles the lead but missed the ensuing free throw. Minnesota rebounded and Jessica Shepard found McBride for a reverse layup as she was fouled by Brittney Sykes.
McBride made her foul shot.
The Sparks (2-3) had a chance to force overtime in their home opener, but Jordin Canada missed a 3-point attempt as the horn sounded.
Moriah Jefferson and Sylvia Fowles each added 20 points for Minnesota (1-4), which also got a dozen rebounds from Fowles and 10 points from Shepard. The Lynx hit 48.4 percent from the field, including 9 of 17 from 3-point range, and earned a 40-26 advantage on the boards.
Nneka Oguwmike scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds to pace Los Angeles, while Cambage and Lexie Brown each added 12. Cambage was limited to 25 minutes because of foul trouble.
The first quarter was all about McBride, who missed Minnesota's first four games while finishing another season overseas. She scored 15 points, capping the outburst with a 3-pointer with 7.8 seconds left that enabled the Lynx to establish a 25-19 advantage.
Minnesota led for all but 18 seconds of the second quarter, pushing the edge to nine at one stage. The Lynx ended the half with a 3-pointer from Bridget Carleton 3.3 seconds before intermission to take a 46-40 edge to the break.
Los Angeles made its move in the third quarter. The Sparks used an 11-2 run to take a 55-53 edge on Brown's 3-pointer at the 4:02 mark, then got another 3-pointer from Brown with 3.5 seconds remaining to take a 65-62 lead into the fourth period.
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