Lynx hold off Sparks to win fourth WNBA championship

Photo Credit: Renee Jones-Schneider/Minneapolis Star-Tribune

There were tense moments at the end, but when all was said and done, the Minnesota Lynx prevailed and brought a fourth WNBA championship to the Twin Cities.

The Lynx prevailed by a final of 85-76 over the Los Angeles Sparks who were also seeking a fourth title, but it was the Lynx who would “Roar for Four” and tie the Houston Comets for the most WNBA championships in league history.

It certainly was one for the thumb for Rebekkah Brunson, who did indeed become the first WNBA player in history to win five championships. She not only scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the series-clinching Game 5, she also provided lots of energy to the Lynx’s cause.

Also providing lots of energy to the Lynx’s cause was Sylvia Fowles, who added Finals MVP honors to go along with her regular season MVP she won. Big-time players step up in big-time games – 17 points and a Finals-record 20 rebounds is the definition of stepping up.

Another one of the Lynx who would not be denied was Lindsay Whalen – a native of Minnesota and who played her collegiate basketball at the same campus where the WNBA Finals was being held due to Target Center renovations and the Xcel Energy Center hosting Minnesota Wild hockey.

Whalen may have been donning Lynx blue and green, but there was no shortage of Golden Gophers maroon and gold which only made it all the more sweeter for her. She scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds.

And what “Moore” can be said or written about Maya? All she does is win. She may have contributed a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but it was the last two points she scored that were the most important for Minnesota.

Late in the fourth quarter when the Sparks were embarking on a ferocious comeback executed by stellar defense and transition baskets, Los Angeles cut what was a 12-point lead with 2:32 to go to a three-point lead with only 35 seconds remaining. That proved once again another theme throughout these Finals that no lead was safe.

It was also significant given the fact that the Sparks were blazing the comeback trail despite Nneka Ogwumike having fouled out of the game earlier in the fourth quarter.

Moore’s two-point basket with under 30 remaining was exactly what the Lynx needed as it upped their lead to 81-76. Fowles and Whalen each made a pair of free throws to seal it, and a celebration ensued throughout Minnesota as the Lynx exercised the demons of last year’s heartbreaking Game 5.

All five starters for the Lynx were in double-digits in the points category – including 14 for Seimone Augustus.

Also who cannot be ignored is Plenette Pierson who did not play in Game 5, but will be concluding her WNBA career as a champion.

After what happened last year, the Lynx hoped to redeem themselves and re-establish themselves as the team to beat in the WNBA. With this championship, they have done just that.

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