Los Angeles Sparks Advance to 2016 WNBA Finals

The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Chicago Sky in Game 4 of their semifinal series on Tuesday evening.

The Minnesota Lynx now know who they will be facing in the 2016 WNBA Finals. On Tuesday night the Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Chicago Sky to close out their semifinal series. The win featured a balanced attacked from LA’s three most-effective scorers in Candace Parker, Kristi Toliver, and Nneka Ogwumike.

Parker and Toliver really left nothing for chance as they each put on a stellar shooting display from behind the arc. The two players combined for seven three pointers without a miss from long range. Parker lead all scorers in the game with 29 points – which was a very nice bounce back after she scored just 9 points in Game 3 of the series.

Toliver, for her part, went 4 for 4 from outside. She also hit her only shot from inside the arc and, to add to her perfect night of shooting, she went 7 for 7 from the charity stripe. The guard, who finished with 21 points, also made an excellent defensive contribution that included five steals.

Ogwumike had a near double-double for points and boards as she tallied 17 and 9 respectively. The forward’s turnover count was a little high as she gave up the ball 7 times. However, the mistakes did not prove costly as Los Angeles defeated Chicago handily 95-75 to win their series 3 games to 1.

Looking back to the start of the series, the Sparks entered the semifinals as a bit of a question mark. They remain the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, however their regular season results dipped after the Olympics. The Sparks did well to avoid a decisive game against Chicago, but Parker still seems focused on ending the season right.

“It’s been a long journey. We haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t accomplished our goal,” she said.

Brian Agler, the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, weighed in:

”It’s been an emotional year for her,” he said of Parker. ”She had a great year, a great playoff. We all know Candace is one of the best in the world. We like it when the ball is in her hands.”

The Sparks won Game 4 against Chicago on the road. They will need to find a way to win on the road in the WNBA Finals as well. The Minnesota Lynx are top seeded and they will host games 1, 2, and 5 (if necessary) in the championship series.

Game 1 of the series is scheduled for Sunday from Minnesota’s Target Center. The start time for the game is 3pm ET.

Shane Lambert