Lynx stun Sparks

? Tamika Williams stole a pass and scored with seven seconds left as the Minnesota Lynx opened the WNBA playoffs by overcoming a 21-point deficit, stunning the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Sparks, 74-72, Thursday night.

Katie Smith scored 23 points for Minnesota. Williams added 16 points and six rebounds, and reserve Kristi Harrower had eight points and five assists.

Despite foul trouble, Lisa Leslie had 24 points and seven rebounds for the Sparks, who had lost only one other playoff game during their two-year title run.

Kansas University product Tamecka Dixon, also in foul trouble, scored 18 points, and Mwadi Mabika had 15.

Smith hit a three-pointer with 24 seconds left to tie the game again before Williams’ game-winning play.

Sun 68, Sting 66

Uncasville, Conn. — Taj McWilliams-Franklin scored 20 points, including the game-winning layup with 2.3 seconds left, leading Connecticut in the opening game of a best-of-three WNBA Eastern Conference playoff series.

Sun guard Shannon Johnson hit two free throws with 52 seconds left to tie it.

Nykesha Sales finished with 11 points for Connecticut.

Game 2 is Saturday at Charlotte.