9:30 P.M. at L.A. • Staples CENTER • NBA TV, 106.1-FM
Lynx update: With Tuesday’s victory in Seattle — Minnesota’s seventh in a row — a bunch of things happened. The Lynx won their third consecutive Western Conference title. They became the third team in WNBA history to win 25 or more games in three consecutive seasons (Houston, 1998-2000; Los Angeles, 2000-2002). And the playoff picture for the West was set, with the Lynx facing Seattle and Los Angeles playing Phoenix in the first round. But there is still work to do. Minnesota could match Los Angeles’ record for wins in three consecutive seasons (81) with victories tonight and Saturday. Chicago’s victory over Phoenix on Wednesday kept the Sky (23-9) within two games of the Lynx for best record in the WNBA, the deciding factor for home-court advantage in the league finals. After facing the Sparks, the Lynx play Chicago at Target Center on Saturday, a game that could be very meaningful. The Eastern Conference-leading Sky host Atlanta on Friday before Saturday’s game.
Sparks update: Los Angeles broke a two-game losing streak with a 74-70 victory at Tulsa last Friday. But the Sparks — who finish the regular season with two home games — cannot improve their playoff position. F/C Candace Parker, a strong MVP contender, has scored 45 points in her past two games. She has averaged 18.5 points and 8.8 rebounds vs. Minnesota, while G Kristi Toliver has averaged 15.3 points and 5.8 assists.