Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx Open Series With Wins

The semifinals in the WNBA playoffs started on Wednesday. Both of the higher seeds, the Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx, posted large winning margins.

The WNBA playoffs continued on Wednesday evening with two games played. In the early game, the Minnesota Lynx hosted the Phoenix Mercury. In the latter game, the Los Angeles Sparks hosted the Chicago Sky. Both of the hosting teams entered the game well rested and both put up solid wins to open their playoff campaigns.

Game 1 of best-of-five series: No. 8 Phoenix Mercury (93) @ No. 1 Minnesota Lynx (113)

The Lynx, playing on more than a week’s rest, were dynamite in the game as they posted a huge 20-point margin of victory. The offense was certainly clicking on all cylinders for them as Maya Moore scored an amazing 31 points in the game. However, an additional five other players scored in double digits as well.

Phoenix star Diana Taurasi, who had 25 points of her own in the game, spoke to the challenges of trying to stop so many effective scorers on every possession:

”You try to throw different things at them,” Taurasi said. ”Obviously you want to stop Maya, you saw what happened. You want to limit Seimone and Syl and then, oh wait, you have Lindsay Whalen running it down your throat. So, there’s a lot of things that we have to kind of prioritize, and we didn’t do any of those today.”

If the Mercury are tired after all their travelling of late then unfortunately there won’t be much rest for the weary. Game 2 in the series will be played on Friday night at 8pm ET. Unless the Mercury are able to make very effective adjustments then they will return home down 0-2 in the series.

Game 1 of best-of-five series:  No. 4 Chicago Sky (75) @ No. 2 Los Angeles Sparks (95)

The Sparks put a patch of bad basketball behind them as they opened their playoffs with a 20-point win as well. Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker had 27 and 30 points respectively in the game. Both players combined for 19 rebounds as well in the effort that saw Los Angeles open their playoffs with a strong win.

”Nneka and I have a really good chemistry in the high-low and we were able to capitalize on that,” Parker said. ”It’s been an amazing journey for me to sit back and watch Nneka develop as she has. You rarely see an MVP dive on the floor and get an extra possession for your team. I’m learning just as much from her.”

The Sparks entered the game as a little bit of question mark. After all, they seemed to play a lot worse after the Olympics than before hand. However, the Sparks also owned a perfect record against Chicago on the season. With the win on Wednesday, L.A. improved to 4-0 against the Sky, the regular season and post-season combined.

Game 2 of this series will also go on Friday night (10pm ET). Chicago, like Phoenix, appear to be in danger of heading home down 0-2 in the series.

Shane Lambert