Games like the first two are the kind that will make one wish this year’s WNBA Finals wpuld be extended to seven games instead of just the allotted five.
After a thrilling finish to Game 1, there was yet another thrilling finish to Game 2 as the Minnesota Lynx evened the Finals with the Los Angeles Sparks at one game apiece. The final score at Williams Arena was 70-68.
It was a contest that was filled with plenty of tense moments–particularly towards the conclusion. The Lynx had built up as much as a 20-point advantage prior to the Sparks slowly but surely chipping away at a seemingly insurmountable Minnesota lead.
Fouls that may not have been fouls were called on both Odyssey Sims and Rebekkah Brunson with less than a minute to go. This led to free throws for Maya Moore and Candace Parker, but Moore made one of her two tries while Parker converted on both of hers.
With 13 seconds remaining and trailing only by two, Alana Beard had nowhere to inbound the ball and LA had no timeouts remaining. This was the first of two impressive defensive plays by Cheryl Reeve’s Lynx to close out the contest as the Sparks committed a five-second violation, turning the ball back to Minnesota.
The Lynx then turned the ball back over to Los Angeles on the ensuing inbounds pass as Seimone Augustus tripped on said following play with the ball deflecting off of her and out of bounds.
With one more chance to either tie or take a 2-0 series lead, the Sparks turned to Chelsea Gray who has played the role of closer in previous Lynx-Sparks playoff get-togethers. The Lynx defense would not allow Gray to play hero one more time as they read Brian Agler’s offense and forced a turnover. Minnesota dribbled out the clock and celebration ensued at The Barn.
Notable from this contest was Sylvia Fowles pulling down a Finals-record 17 rebounds along with scoring 13 points. Fowles had nearly half of the team’s rebounding effort for the game. Lindsay Whalen scored 14 points, Moore also scored 13, Brunson finished with 13, and Augustus contributed 11.
For the Sparks, Parker scored 17 and Gray added 15. Nneka Ogwumike grabbed 13 rebounds along with scoring 11 points. Sims had 10 points.
Game 3 is this Friday night as the scene shifts to Los Angeles. What more will these two teams give us under California’s bright lights?