One of the historic rivalries in the WNBA over the years and a rematch of the past two WNBA Finals took place in a single elimination game on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Minnesota Lynx night 75-68.
The Sparks Chelsea Gray led all scorers with with 26 points (4-8 3pt), 6 assist (game-high), and 5 rebounds. She played with fire and emotion all night and her teammates fed off her. Nneka Ogwumike who missed the final regular season game (illness) against the Connecticut Sun played with more energy after the extra days rest scoring 19 points on 6-10 shooting.
All-Star Candace Parker did not contribute much from a scoring standpoint (2 points) but did lead the team in rebounding with 6 and had 3 steals. The most impact she may have had was taking on the responsibility of defending the Lynx's Sylvia Fowles. Even though she had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Parker showed some resistance and kept Fowles from becoming too comfortable. The story of the game outside of normal contributors was the 2nd half for Riquna Williams. She came up big for the Sparks scoring 17 points (all in 2nd half) and making 3-6 from three.
The defending champion Lynx now focus on their off-season and preparation for next season. It will be without All-Star and future Hall of Famer Lindsey Whalen who announced she would be retiring at the conclusion of the Lynx season. She will go down as one of the best players to ever set foot on the WNBA court. She finishes her playing career a 4x champion, 5x All-Star, 3x All First-Team, & 2x All Second-Team.
Silvia Fowles led the team with 18 points and a game high 12 rebounds. Maya Moore scored 14 points.
The Sparks now get on a plane to travel back east to the nation's capital to face the Mystics a team they lost two out of three in the regular season. This is a single elimination game.
Next Game: Thursday 8/23 @ Mystics 3:30 PT on ESPN2.