Los Angeles Sparks Within One Win of WNBA Championship

The Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx met in game three of the 2016 WNBA Finals on Friday night.

The Los Angeles Sparks, thanks in no small part to a strong first quarter, won game three of the 2016 WNBA Finals on October 14th. The Sparks were electric as they demolished the Minnesota Lynx in the opening frame, outscoring their opponent 32-17. With a 2-1 series lead, Los Angeles can wrap up the WNBA Finals with a home-court win on Sunday evening.

Minnesota’s Maya Moore, the best player on the Lynx, was not an offensive factor in her team’s loss. On 4 of 7 shooting she had just 9 points and 7 rebounds, all of them defensive boards. The limited effectiveness was a poor follow-up to her double-double from game two.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, got exactly what it needed out of its two main stars. Candace Parker lead all scorers with 24 points and she almost took down double digits for rebounds, finishing with 9. Nneka Ogwumike also had 9 rebounds and she scored 21 points, more than any individual player on Minnesota had.

Parker spoke with the media after the game, comments that suggested that Los Angeles had a different attitude on Friday night than in some previous games against the Lynx.

”We’ve worked too hard to get to this point and just be there,” Parker said. ”We had a game plan of just going to the basket and being aggressive.”

Looking ahead, much seems to be riding on the game four result. It will be Los Angeles’ only opportunity to close the series on home court. Should they falter then they would return to Minnesota for game five. While the Sparks were able to squeeze out a victory in Minnesota earlier in the series, it only came by virtue of a buzzer beater.

The Lynx’s amazing season is now in jeopardy of ending without a title. However, earlier in the series Moore stated that the team responded well to adverse situations.

“This team bounces back well,” she said after winning game two. “We can’t stay down for too long and I’m a part of that. I wanted to bring that energy and that’s what I took on myself personally today.”

The Lynx will have to bounce back on Sunday as there is no longer any margin for error. Game time is at 8:30pm ET, ESPN has the television coverage, and the venue will be the Staples Center from downtown Los Angeles.

 

Shane Lambert