Finals: Lynx force series-deciding Game 5 in Minnesota

Photo Credit: Aaron Lavinsky/Minneapolis Star-Tribune

It just had to go five. It just had to.

A Finals series featuring the two premier teams in the WNBA could not have possibly concluded without it heading to a Game 5 – and the Minnesota Lynx made sure of that in Game 4 as they defeated the Los Angeles Sparks at Staples Center with the final score being 80-69.

For much of the game, it certainly looked as if the Lynx were playing with more energy on both ends of the floor. They won the rebounding battle – both overall as well as offensive boards – and managed to find more loose balls as well as second-chance points.

Rebounding-wise, the Lynx outdid the Sparks by a margin of 48-28. Minnesota had a 16-7 advantage in terms of offensive rebounding. A huge reason for that is this year’s league MVP Sylvia Fowles who had 14 boards (including six on the offensive side) to go along with 22 points.

Rebekkah Brunson was also key in terms of production and energy. She scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Maya Moore scored 15 points along with eight rebounds and Seimone Augustus scored 10 along with eight rebounds.

Los Angeles was also too reliant on the three-point shot for much of the game. And for much of the game, those treys were not going through the hoop as the Sparks shot only five for 22 from behind the arc.

Early in the first quarter, Lindsay Whalen was assessed a flagrant foul on Odyssey Sims who was looking to convert a transition possession into a layup. Sims concluded her evening with 18 points. Nneka Ogwumike, who played late despite having five fouls against her, contributed 17 points and eight rebounds. Candace Parker finished with 11.

Did we mention we are heading to a Game 5? And that it is Wednesday night?

By: Akiem Bailum (@AkiemBailum on Twitter, Instagram)