7 p.m. vs. Los Angeles in Bradenton, Fla. • CBS Sports, FSN Plus
Tightening up on defense is top priority
Lynx update: Defense is foremost on the minds of Lynx players and coaches because of two recent results. First, the defense broke down in the second half of a 78-75 loss Sunday to Atlanta, which had lost 10 consecutive games before that game. Second, the Lynx allowed the Sparks to shoot 65.5% in a 97-81 Los Angeles victory earlier this month, the highest opponent field-goal percentage allowed by the Lynx in team history. Forwards Napheesa Collier and Damiris Dantas said there was a strong emphasis on defense in Tuesday’s practice. ... Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, who missed the loss to the Sparks because of a calf injury, has also been ruled out of Wednesday’s rematch. She’s the only player on the Lynx injury report.
Sparks update: The Aug. 9 victory over the Lynx was the start of the Sparks’ current seven-game winning streak that has boosted their overall record to 10-3 — one game better than the Lynx amid a cluster of five teams at the top of the league standings. Los Angeles is shooting a WNBA-best 40.9% from three-point range and was particularly hot beyond the arc (13-for-22, 59%) in that victory over the Lynx. The Sparks get balanced scoring, with four players averaging double-figures led by Candace Parker (14 ppg). ... Former Lynx star Seimone Augustus has been efficient in a reserve role in her first season with the Sparks. Her offensive rating (117) is second on the team behind Nneka Ogwumike.