The Lynx will be back to their usual home this season, and they will return as the defending WNBA champions.

The team released its 2018 schedule on Thursday, highlighted most importantly by reclaiming their home court at renovated Target Center after playing last season at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The season will start with a familiar foe — the Los Angeles Sparks. Last season’s finalists open the 2018 campaign on May 20. The Lynx and Sparks battled in a five-game series that ended with the Lynx winning the WNBA Finals and Sylvia Fowles being named the series MVP.

The Lynx will unveil their fourth championship banner and have a ring ceremony at the game.

The season opener will be the first Lynx game at Target Center since Game 5 of the WNBA Finals in 2016 — a loss to the Sparks. The Lynx road opener will be May 25 at New York.

Also for the first time, the WNBA All-Star Game will be played at Target Center, on July 28.

Six Lynx games will be on ESPN2, including the season opener and home games with Phoenix on June 1, Los Angeles on July 5, New York on July 24 and Washington on Aug. 19.

Rana L. Cash