Dearica Hamby scores her 3,000th point, but struggling Sparks fall to Minnesota Lynx

Curt Miller urged his team to play with an all-or-nothing sentiment before the Sparks closed their four-game homestand Tuesday night.

“We have to leave it all out there,” he said before the game. “There’s nothing we should be saving in the tank tonight. We should lay it all on the line.”

But Miller’s plea for passion and intensity on the court didn’t translate to a victory.

Minnesota never trailed despite playing without potential MVP candidate Napheesa Collier for the second consecutive game. The Lynx (16-6) led by as many as 15 in the first quarter and as much as 25 overall, ultimately defeating the now-last-place Sparks 82-67 at Arena.

The Sparks (5-17) ended an eight-game losing streak last Friday by beating the Las Vegas Aces, but that has begun to resemble a blip on the radar rather than a change of pace. Dearica Hamby led all scorers with 18 points and reached 3,000 points for her career, but Minnesota still claimed a victory over the Sparks for the third time this season.

Since becoming the Sparks’ coach in 2023, Miller has yet to beat the Lynx, having lost all seven matchups.

Bridget Carleton led Minnesota with 16 points and Dorka Juhasz had a season-high 15 to help offset the loss of Collier, who is out indefinitely because of plantar fasciitis in her left foot.

Sparks forward Azurá Stevens, who made her season debut Sunday in a loss to Phoenix, started for the first time since having left arm surgery in March. The seven-year veteran scored nine points with six rebounds. Stevens replaced Stephanie Talbot, who exited Sunday’s game because of an injury.

Rickea Jackson, whom the Lynx held to only two points in the teams’ first meeting this season, scored six points in 24 minutes after putting up a career-high 22 on Sunday.

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