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Minnesota Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson goes up for a basket against Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles during Saturday's game. Genevieve Ross | Associated Press

Minnesota drops third straight game

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kara Lawson scored 22 points and Connecticut held on to beat the Minnesota Lynx 86-80 on Saturday in a matchup of conference leaders.

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Tina Charles had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Sun (12-4). Asjha Jones also had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Maya Moore led Minnesota with 19 points while Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 15 for the Lynx (13-4), who have lost three straight for the first time since July 17-29, 2010. The defeat was Minnesota's first in nine home games this season.

The Sun led 74-54 with 7:10 to play, but Minnesota made five 3-pointers -- two each by Moore and Candice Wiggins -- during a 20-4 run that got the Lynx within 78-74 with 2:23 to play. McWilliams-Franklin scored the other eight points.

But Moore missed a 3-pointer and McWilliams-Franklin committed an offensive foul before the Sun made seven of eight free throws in the final 32 seconds.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Lawson and driving layups by Allison Hightower and Kalana Greene gave the Sun a 51-40 lead early in the second half.

A jumper by Monica Wright and 3-point play by Maya Moore got Minnesota within seven midway through the third quarter, but Connecticut finished on a 13-4 run for a 70-54 lead. Charles had six points during the run; Renee Montgomery four.

Jones scored eight points as Connecticut opened up a 10-point lead late in the first quarter, but Moore hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and Augustus scored six points as part of a 17-4 run to put the Lynx up 30-27 midway through the second. The Sun led 41-38 at halftime.

Minnesota forward Devereaux Peters missed the game with a broken left hand. The team's top draft pick in 2012 (third overall) is averaging 5.4 points per game.

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