Thursday's WNBA action included a showdown between the reigning champions and the league's best team right now. It was the Minnesota Lynx hosting the Los Angeles Sparks, with the game receiving national television coverage through the ESPN2 channel. As the Sparks were trying to move closer to the top of the standings, the Lynx were trying to keep their distance. They did just that with an 88-77 win thanks to a combined 40 points from Sylvia Fowles and Renee Montgomery. Here's the Sparks vs. Lynx recap for Thursday night, as well as what's next for these teams.

WNBA game recap

The Minnesota Lynx received 20 points apiece from Sylvia Fowles and Renee Montgomery off the bench on Thursday night. Fowles shot 9-for-15 from the field, and also picked up 13 rebounds for a double-double. In addition, she dished out two assists and swatted away four shots. Montgomery came into the game to contribute 20 points thanks to her 4-for-5 rate from downtown. She also added four assists, three steals, and grabbed two rebounds.

On the losing side, reigning WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike led all scorers with 27 points. Ogwumike also snatched 14 rebounds for another impressive performance. Teammate Chelsea Gray had 16 points, but the rest of the team failed to score much. Candace Parker shot just 1-for-6 from the field and finished with two points for the contest.

Besides Gray and Ogwumike, L.A. received a combined 15 points from their other three starters, and 19 points off the bench.

Minnesota took control from the first quarter with a 25-14 scoring pace. Despite Los Angeles outscoring them in the next two-quarters, it wasn't quite enough. Minnesota finished with a 20-16 fourth quarter to put the game away.

For the night, the Lynx shot 47.9 percent and 42.9 percent from three-point range. Los Angeles was 48.5 percent overall and 24 percent from downtown. They also had 17 turnovers and were outrebounded 39-28 for the game.

Standings & what's next

With the win, Minnesota moves to a league-best 13-1 overall. That puts them two games ahead of Los Angeles on the overall WNBA standings.

It also increases the Lynx winning streak to four-straight games. Next up, they'll play the Chicago Sky on the road on Saturday night starting at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

The loss drops the Los Angeles Sparks to 12-4 overall and two games back from Minnesota in the standings. Next up for the Sparks will be a road game at the Seattle Storm on Saturday night starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.