Preview: The winner of this game will clinch a bye into the league semifinals. Considering the two teams split their previous two meetings this season , the winner will have the top spot in the league — and head-to-head tiebreaker — with four regular-season games left. The Lynx have won three straight and nine of their past 10, the only loss coming to Connecticut on Aug. 26 in the first game after the Olympic break. The Sparks had a midseason stumble. They lost two of three heading into the Olympic break, then their first two after the break. But the Sparks have also won three straight.
Players to watch: Lynx F Maya Moore has averaged 25.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists over the past two games. C Sylvia Fowles, in the past two games, has averaged 16.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals. Sparks F/C Nneka Ogwumike, the clear MVP favorite, is third in the league in scoring (19.8) and rebounding (9.1) and is shooting 69.6 percent. F/C Candace Parker is averaging 16 points and is second in the league in assists (5.1). G Kristi Toliver has averaged 22.5 points in two games vs. the Lynx this season, including a 25-point game in L.A.’s victory in Minneapolis on June 24. She hit a career-high seven three-pointers in that game.
Numbers: The Lynx have won 15 of their past 23 vs. the Sparks and have won four of the past five games in Los Angeles.
Injuries: Neither team reports any injuries.