Air tight: Lynx and Sparks set for another Game 5

Tomas Mccoy
October 6, 2017

The Sparks and Lynx went five games a year ago before Los Angeles won on a last-second put-back from Ogwumike.

The Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx are preparing for their second WNBA Finals Game 5 in as many seasons.

It's the fourth WNBA title over last seven years for the Lynx, who also won championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

"Just to be mentioned in the conversation with the Comets is incredible, but I think we're still here", Brunson said.

"Maya made that runner, which is why she is Maya Moore", said Whalen.

Fowles was the top overall rebounder in the first half with 10, while Parker pulled down seven first-half rebounds for Los Angeles. Although the Sparks made several runs throughout the game, it was the relentless rebounding and hustle plays that kept the Lynx in front throughout.

"That haunted me for a long time after Game 5 previous year", Fowles said.

"It's great when the games have drama like we've had with the last-second shots and it's great when the games are close and we've had that", said Lobo. "I wanted to come in and show my presence, and that was rebounding".

Candace Parker, after a basketball career in the spotlight, did everything she could to keep the title in Los Angeles. Minnesota, which has the oldest roster in the WNBA, has now won four championships. "Everyone wants to talk about who scores, but it's those plays in those moments that win a game for you". Moore had 10 boards, while Whalen contributed eight assists. Rebekkah Brunson also recorded a double-double, 18 points and 13 rebounds. If the Sparks leave Brunson open, Minnesota needs her to knock down shots. A win on Wednesday would make the Sparks the first repeat champions since 2002. With the team's regular season home-the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul-unavailable for the postseason, the Lynx shifted their postseason games to Williams Arena.

"Rebecca is just - if you're around our group, she's the same every single day", Coach Reeve said postgame. "It hasn't been easy, it's been extremely difficult and we know how hard you have to work to get here".

"I'm not a person to make excuses", said Sparks coach Brian Agler.

"The WNBA has a fair number of African-American women who understand what it means to be discriminated on the basis of their race and gender, so they lie on the intersection of a lot of the problems that have beleaguered our country", she says. "And we needed it. People are just admiring our game at this point and everyone is tuning in to see what's happening".

"Honestly, rebounding", she said.

The Sparks will probably be in trouble if Fowles shoots 19 times again, considering how much of her work is done around the basket. "But our start wasn't as up to par as we wanted it to be". We just have to do a better job in the off-season of trying to figure out how to draw contact.

"I think so", [Seimone] Augustus said.

Chelsea Gray and Odyssey Sims combined for 29 points, but didn't have the same impact on defense they did earlier in the series. The series then moved to Los Angeles, and Game 3 went to the Sparks 75-64. Ultimately, they didn't have enough depth nor shooting to beat the Lynx this year.

The two best teams in the WNBA went at it Wednesday night with everything on the line in Game 5 of the league finals.

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