Crystal Dangerfield stays hot as Lynx top Dream in WNBA return

Rookie Crystal Dangerfield scored 23 points, Napheesa Collier had 19 points and 12 rebounds and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Atlanta Dream 88-79 on Friday night.

The game was the first of three in the WNBA bubble Friday after play was postponed the previous two days following the weekend shooting of Jacob Blake.

Dangerfield reached 20 points for the fourth time this season, the most by a Lynx rookie since Maya Moore had five in 2011.

Odyssey Sims added 17 points, seven rebounds and nine assists off the bench for Minnesota (10-4), which avoided consecutive losses for the first time this season.

WATCH | Powerful pause across sports world:

Devin Heroux of CBC Sports reflects on a week in sports that saw a united show of solidarity across professional leagues in support of racial justice. 2:48

Betnijah Laney led Atlanta (3-12) with 22 points and five assists. Courtney Williams scored 17 points, Elizabeth Williams had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Monique Billings added 10 points and eight boards. Atlanta was looking for back-to-back victories for the first time this season.

Laney had 15 points in the first half, including a bank shot to beat the first-quarter buzzer, while Dangerfield scored 16 in their second meeting over a six-day span.

Sparks clutch to beat Sun

Chelsea Gray scored a season-high 27 points, Nneka Ogwumike added 17 points and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Connecticut Sun 80-76 on Friday night.

The game was the second of three in the WNBA bubble Friday after play was postponed the previous two days following the weekend shooting of Jacob Blake

Down 63-59 entering the forth quarter, Los Angeles (11-3) but took the lead at the 5:01 mark on a 3-pointer by Gray. She added another 3-pointer on the Sparks’ next possession to make it 75-71. Connecticut only made one field goal in the final two minutes, getting outscored 21-13 in the frame.

Rookie Te’a Cooper scored 14 points and Candace Parker had 12 points and seven assists for Los Angeles. Parker was 5 of 8 from the field to move into 12th on the WNBA career list for field goals.

Alyssa Thomas had 19 points and nine rebounds for Connecticut (6-9), which turned it over 23 times. DeWanna Bonner added 13 points, Jasmine Thomas had 12 points and six assists and Brionna Jones scored 10 points.

Diggins leads Mercury past Mystics

Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 11 of her 24 points in a decisive third quarter to help the Phoenix Mercury beat the Washington Mystics 94-72 on Friday night.

Each quarter started with the team taking the ball getting a 24-second violation to promote social justice and encourage people to fill out a census and register to vote.

Diggins-Smith was 6 of 8 from 3-point rage in her her fifth 20-plus game of the season. Phoenix made 13 of 26 behind the arc, and outscored Washington 61-31 in the second half.

Diana Taurasi added 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists for Phoenix (8-7). Brittney Griner did not play after leaving the WNBA’s bubble last weekend for personal reasons.

Bria Hartley was helped off the floor in the first quarter and did not return for Phoenix. She sat on the bench in the second half with ice on her right knee and crutches by her side.

Leilani Mitchell led Washington (4-10) with 17 points. Myisha Hines-Allen had 14 points and six rebounds, and Tianna Hawkins scored 13.

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