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Sparks at Lynx: WNBA Finals Game Five

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Another chapter in a great rivalry will unfold tonight.

WNBA: Finals-Minnesota Lynx at Los Angeles Sparks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Sparks at Lynx
7:00 pm CDT
ESPN

This season and especially this series has unfolded in remarkably similar ways to last, when the Sparks and Lynx met in a Finals that also went five games, with each splitting at home and on the road. Nobody is complaining, however, as it’s been terrifically exciting both years, featuring an abundance of stars, big moments, and competitive spirit.

Lynx fans will be hoping for a different result this time around, after they lost in heart breaking fashion to a Nneka Ogwumike put-back in the final seconds of last year’s game five.

The Lynx are coming off their best game of the series, when they dominated the glass and were more physical than the Sparks in a game four win that got us to this point. They need to maintain that level throughout tonight’s game if they want to take their fourth title since 2011.

The Lynx have struggled offensively through long stretches of this series, with the Sparks’ aggressive defense, quickness, and agility causing them problems. Sylvia Fowles has been double teamed relentlessly in the post by players looking to take the ball away, and while she has had her moments, the Sparks have not let her dominate as she did so often during the regular season.

They need to find the range from the perimeter to make the Sparks pay for their aggressive help and paint clogging defense, something we’ve seen only intermittently during the series.

The Lynx have also been good defensively, limiting Nneka Ogwumike and daring defensive ace Alana Beard to beat them with her jump shot. In particular, when the Lynx have gone to their reserve gaurds, Renee Montgomery and Jia Perkins, they have been able to turn up the defensive pressure and affect L.A.

At this point, I have no real idea what’s going to happen tonight. Which is awesome. The Lynx really need to limit their turnovers and be aware that the Sparks are looking to get their hands on the ball at every opportunity. They will also need to make some threes. Maya Moore has to look for her shot more.

For the Sparks, they need to get in transition and do a better job on the glass than they did in game four. Getting some perimeter scoring from their back court will be another key.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be exciting.

Expected lineups

Sparks

Chelsea Gray
Odyssey Sims
Alana Beard
Candace Parker
Nneka Ogwumike

Lynx

Lindsay Whalen
Seimone Augustus
Maya Moore
Rebekkah Brunson
Sylvia Fowles

Enjoy the game. Chat here. Go Lynx.