Sparks at Lynx
7:00 pm CDT
Last season, the Lynx lost game one of the Finals at home on a buzzer beater by the Sparks. The same thing happened on Sunday in game one of the current Finals, though it was somewhat surprising that we even reached the point where the Sparks needed the Chelsea Gray pull-up to secure the victory.
Game one was a disaster for the Lynx early. They fell behind 28-2, something I never expected to see happen. They looked out of it completely, with the Sparks using their athleticism to defend aggressively and hit the boards, and some excellent execution to slice open the Lynx’ usual terrific defense.
It forced Cheryl Reeve to go small with Maya Moore at the four spot, and another guard on the floor (Jia Perkins started the second half,) and the Lynx were able to chip away at the lead. Moore’s bucket with 6 seconds left gave them a one point lead, but Gray made the key play at the end and left the Lynx down a game.
The Sparks forced the first adjustment in the series, requiring Reeve to sit Rebekkah Brunson, who has been a huge part of their success this season. It will be interesting to see how they change things up to make use of Brunson in game two; I doubt they just capitulate and change the starting lineup at this point, though I suppose it’s possible.
Whatever they do, they can’t have that sort of start again. This is a must win, obviously. They need to even the series heading to L.A., and hope to once again force a game five eventually back in Minneapolis.
I expect the Lynx to come out with their best stuff tonight, and we’ll see whether it’s good enough.
Enjoy the game. Chat here. Go Lynx.