Lynx on the verge of clinching playoff spot; Collier in the MVP race?

Collier has been outstanding since Sylvia Fowles went down with a calf injury.
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A blowout win that snapped the Los Angeles Sparks' nine-game win streak Monday night has the Minnesota Lynx on the verge of clinching a playoff spot. 

The Lynx, at 11-5 overall, are fourth in the WNBA standings and just two games behind league-leading Seattle (13-3). The top three teams in the league – Seattle, Las Vegas and Los Angeles – have already clinched a playoff spot. 

With six games left in the shortened season, the Lynx are virtually a lock to reach the postseason for a 10th consecutive year under head coach Cheryl Reeve. 

Meanwhile, Napheesa Collier is slowly but surely putting herself in the WNBA MVP conversation. The second-year forward has been on a tear in the eight games that Minnesota has been without All-Star center Sylvia Fowles, who remains out indefinitely with a calf injury. 

In those eight games, Collier has averaged 20 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.75 blocks per game. 

For the season, Collier is 9th in the league in scoring (16.3 PPG), 5th in rebounding (8.8 RPG), 17th in assists (3.4 APG), 3rd in steals (1.9 SPG), 7th in blocks (1.3 BPG), and her player efficiency rating of 22.3 is second in the entire league. 

Minnesota is also getting phenomenal play from Crystal Dangerfield, who is averaging 15.5 points in the eight games without Fowles. Dangerfield, per ESPN, is "in the driver's seat for Rookie of the Year." 

The Lynx play the Chicago Sky Wednesday at 6 p.m. 

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