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Lynx nearly unbeaten in exhibition slate

Star Tribune

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The Minnesota Lynx closed out their three-game preseason schedule with a 106-105 double-overtime loss to the Los Angeles Sparks at the Betty Engelstad Center on Sunday.

The Lynx (2-1 in the preseason) trailed by six after three quarters, but outscored the Sparks 25-19 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

The Sparks overcame 34 turnovers by making 36 of 44 free throws (82 percent), including 7-for-11 in the two overtime sessions. The Lynx was 26-for-39 from the free-throw line.

Kiesha Brown scored 16 points and Lisa Leslie scored 13 (in 15 minutes) to lead the Sparks (3-0).

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Navonda Moore scored 21 points and Eshaya Murphy scored 19 to lead the Lynx. Nicky Anosike contributed 15 points and seven rebounds for the Lynx.

Seimone Augustus started and scored 12 points in 22 minutes in her first game back with the Lynx.

The game was a homecoming for Sparks co-owner Carla Christopherson, who is a native of Tolna, N.D., and a graduate of the University of North Dakota.

Augustus, the Lynx’s leading scorer the past two seasons, rejoined the team for practice Friday after returning from Russia. Guard Anna DeForge, a free agent who signed in February, also has reported.

"You want to play to win," Lynx coach Don Zierden said before Sunday’s game, "but, more importantly, we have a lot of young ladies right now that are really right on the bubble of making the team or not making the team."

The Lynx must cut four players this week.

The team’s regular-season opener is next Sunday at home against Detroit, 2006 league champion and 2007 runner-up.

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