LOS ANGELES - Kristi Toliver was coming off a rare game in which she did not attempt a field goal, unusual for one of the league's top scorers. Toliver and the Los Angeles Sparks had a week off to improve, and it showed.
Toliver scored 29 points, including 6-for-6 from three-point range, and Candace Parker had 28 points and 13 rebounds as the Sparks beat the Minnesota Lynx 96-90 on Thursday.
Toliver shot 8-for-13 from the field and 6-for-7 on free throws while matching career highs in scoring and three-pointers made. It came after her first scoreless game of the season on June 28.
"It's completely crazy that I didn't even shoot the ball that last game," Toliver said. "That's not who I am. That's not who I want to be. Today I just kind of shifted that and showed everybody that this is who I am and this is what I do."
Nneka Ogwumike added 12 points and Alana Beard had 10 for the Sparks (11-6), who led by 20 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter before weathering Minnesota's furious rally to end a three-game losing streak.
Seimone Augustus scored 18 points to lead the defending champion Lynx (13-3), who have lost back-to-back games for the first time since June 24-26, 2011. Minnesota has also lost three in a row on the road for the first time since August 2010.
Candice Wiggins had a three and Maya Moore made two to pull the Lynx to 84-78 with 2 1/2 minutes to go. However, Toliver and Parker made 10 free throws over the last 1:59 to seal the Sparks' victory.
"We were starting to get more aggressive, but it was just too late," Moore said. "We dug ourselves too big of a hole. We just couldn't find the rhythm and that attention we sort of needed."
Moore finished with 14 points, Rebekkah Brunson scored 11 and Wiggins and Amber Harris added 10 each for Minnesota.
The Lynx gave up 90 points for the second time this season -- and second in a row following a 93-84 loss at San Antonio on Sunday.