Lynx at Sparks
8:00 pm CDT
Last year, after splitting the first two games in Minnesota, the Sparks won game three back home in Los Angeles fairly easily. The Lynx rallied in game four before losing a heartbreaker back home in game five.
This year’s Finals has started the same way, with the teams splitting two games at Williams arena. Both games featured one team, the Sparks in game one and the Lynx in game two, getting off to fast starts and holding on in furiously contested finishes.
Now we shift to Los Angeles, where the teams will look to establish at least some modicum of control over the series with a win tonight. These teams are incredibly well matched, with talent and experience and an unwillingness to yield, so it probably comes down to execution and adjustments.
The Lynx played much better defense in game two. The Sparks have an MVP front court with Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, and the Lynx focus there in game one allowed Odyssey Sims and especially Chelsea Gray to go off, and it cost them. Gray was still a handful in game two with 15 points, but the Lynx had better energy from the start and limited the Sparks.
They also were able to use Rebekkah Brunson to good effect after having to go small in game one. Brunson is a major factor for the Wolves, and her ability to guard and rebound has been essential for their success.
One key to look for tonight is three point shooting. After increasing their attempts and shooting quite well from the arc this season, the Lynx struggled over the first two games, making a combined 6-20. They need to find the range to open some things up in the paint. The Sparks have been aggressively double-teaming Sylvia Fowles and taking away a lot around the basket, and the Lynx need to make them pay for that from long range.
It should be another good one.
Enjoy the game. Chat here. Go Lynx.