LA Sparks win first Championship since 2002 with 77-76 win over Lynx

It was only fitting that the conclusion of the WNBA’s 20th season would come down to the wire in the Finals between the two teams that served as the class of the league for said season.
At season’s end, it was the Los Angeles Sparks, dethroning the defending champion Minnesota Lynx on Minnesota’s home court in Game 5 via a 77-76 victory, claiming their first title since 2002.

The deciding shot came in the game’s waning moments as league MVP Nneka Ogwumike converted on a successful two-point shot on a possession which saw her grab two offensive rebounds. It was her 11th and 12th points of the game and it put the Sparks ahead 77-76.

With no timeouts remaining, and little time left, the Lynx had to hope for a half-court miracle, but Lindsay Whalen’s try would not find the center of the hoop.

Candace Parker scored 28 points in the Sparks’ win and was also named Finals MVP in what is her first championship in her career.

Prior to the dramatic finish, another Ogwumike shot in the fourth quarter is sure to get a lot of attention—when it looked as if she did not get it off in time and the referees appeared to signal for a review, but no review came and the shot counted. This made the game 73-71 in favor of Los Angeles.

Down the stretch in the fourth quarter, the Sparks had raced out to a 71-63 advantage late before the Lynx came all the way back to tie it at 71 apiece prior to the Ogwumike shot that was not reviewed.

Los Angeles was also hampered by foul trouble late as Ogwumike, Essence Carson, and Kristi Toliver all had five fouls. That, of course, is now a moot point as the Sparks have claimed the top spot once again in the W.

Along with Parker’s 28, Ogwumike added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Chelsea Gray also put in 11 points off the bench after dropping 20 in Game 4.
For the Lynx, Maya Moore’s 23 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds put her four boards shy of a triple-double. Seimone Augustus added 17 points and they got ten each from Lindsay Whalen and Sylvia Fowles.

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