Losing irritates the Lynx. And lately, the defending WNBA champions have had their fill of it, dropping three of four games after winning their first seven of the season.

So somebody had to pay.

On the schedule was Los Angeles, at Staples Center. Traditionally, a venue where the Lynx rarely win.

But Tuesday night was different.

The Lynx routed the floundering Sparks 94-77 behind Maya Moore’s 31 points. She was 12 of 16 from the field, helping the visitors shoot a season-high 63.8 percent.

After slow starts in two consecutive losses, the Lynx came out extra motivated and sharp.

They led 15-3 early and 29-14 after the first quarter. By halftime, the lead closed to 53-42, but the Lynx were moving the ball — collecting 14 assists.

That performance was quite a contrast to losses at Atlanta last week and to Phoenix on Sunday at Target Center. The Dream led 50-33, the Mercury 50-31 after two quarters.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said her team would continue to have trouble winning with efforts like that. Her players listened, especially Moore who was averaging 12 points her past four games.

Minnesota (9-3) led the Sparks (3-7), who lost their fourth consecutive game, from start to finish.

Others in double figures for the Lynx were Seimone Augustus with 14 points and Lindsay Whalen with 12. Alana Beard had 18 points for the Sparks, who shot 44.3 percent.