With their backs against the wall, the Minnesota Lynx asserted their game plan and placed a relentless on-slot of physical and well-calculated offense against the Los Angeles Sparks putting on hold any kind of championship celebrating for at least one more game.
In a series that has swayed back and forth, the WNBA has showcased two high caliber teams fighting for the right to be remembered in the annals of basketball lore. Game four has held consistent with the previous three contests and has set the tone for what should be a memorable game five in the land of the great lakes.
Game four started off with a familiar pace for the hometown Sparks when all of a sudden, with 8:17 left in the first quarter, Lynx’s guard guard Lindsay Whalen decided to raise the stakes of this game by getting called for a flagrant foul on Sparks’ Odyssey Sims.
Suspiciously from that point forward, the Lynx started to play with a new tempo and zeal that had them outscore L.A. 21-16 in that quarter as well as out rebound the Sparks 11-5. Minnesota out rebounded their opponents 26-14 in the first half and was catapulted forward with 13 of Rebekkah Brunson’s 18-point 13 rebound performance. The hero of Game 3 rose to the occasion once again.
The league’s current MVP Sylvia Fowles added 22 points with 14 rebounds while Maya Moore contributed 15 points and eight rebounds to round out a more balanced scoring attack for the Lynx than in the previous contest.
Los Angeles’ pressure defense played into the hands of the Lynx as they were spread across the perimeter and forced into difficult help rotations. On the other side of the ball, Brunson held Los Angeles’ center Candice Parker to two field goal attempts in the third quarter as well as 37% from the field for the game.
Minnesota also out rebounded the Sparks 48-28 leading to a game four victory score of 80-69. Contributions by the Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike of 17 points and eight rebounds as well as 18 points from Odyssey Sims rounded out the 11 point eight rebound performance by Parker.
Although they lost Sunday, the Sparks still have an opportunity at greatness in game five as they have already had success on the Lynx,s home court. The last game of the 2017 WNBA Finals should be an all out war with the true champion emerging victorious.