Thompson scores 24 points and Sparks use stingy defense to defeat Lynx, 71-58

Tina Thompson scored 24 points while Noelle Quinn added 17 to help Los Angeles beat Minnesota 71-58 on Tuesday night, allowing the Sparks to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

Marie Ferdinand-Harris added 12 points for the Sparks.

Lindsay Whalen and Monica Wright each finished with 12 points to lead Minnesota. Seimone Augustus was limited to six points.

Minnesota's leading scorer, Augustus missed her first seven field goal attempts and was held without a basket before making a 3-pointer with 8:12 left in the third quarter.

For Los Angeles, the victory also allowed the Sparks (8-16) to move into a tie with the Lynx for the fourth and final playoff spot in the WNBA's Western Conference. Minnesota (7-15) has now lost four consecutive games and six of eight.

Three days after using offense to win at Connecticut, Los Angeles used its defense to win at Minnesota. The Sparks limited the Lynx to 26 percent shooting overall and only 42 points over the final three quarters.

Leading 29-26 at halftime, the Sparks steadily stretched their cushion in the second half. Ferdinand-Harris scored 10 of her points in the third quarter and her transition basket with 2:54 to play in the third quarter gave Los Angeles a 46-39 lead. The lead grew to double digits in the fourth and the Sparks led 68-56 when Quinn drove to the basket and scored with 2:36 to play.

Alexis Hornbuckle scored one point in 13 minutes for the Lynx, one day after being acquired in a trade with Tulsa.

After trailing by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, Quinn scored 11 second-quarter points and helped get the Sparks back in the game. With Los Angeles limiting Minnesota to 2-for-20 shooting from the floor in the second quarter, the Sparks went on a 14-2 run and led 29-26 at halftime.