Maya Moore led the Lynx in scoring with 18 points and 10 rebounds of her own, as all five Minnesota starters finished with at least 13 points. How this for a ridiculous stat: Heading into Game 5 on Wednesday night in Minnesota, the teams were tied in points (908-908) over their last 12 meetings including the regular season and WNBA Finals. In the end, the Lynx prevailed 85-76 behind 15 points and 20 rebounds from Lynx center Sylvia Fowles. Last year, it was the Sparks who won the 2016 title in thrilling fashion on a last second shot from Nneka Ogwumike to win Game 5.
The Lynx were on the verge of elimination in Game 4 on Sunday, but responded by pounding the Sparks on the glass and winning 80-69 to send the series back to Minnesota.
The Lynx became just the second franchise in WNBA history to win the title four times.
In fact, Sparks coach Brian Agler said the Lynx victory in Game 5 came down to rebounding, particularly in the first half. She had previously set the single-game record earlier in the series and averaged 15.0 rebounds per game for the series.
After the opener of the WNBA Finals on September 24, Chelsea Gray was in a joyful Sparks locker room at Williams Arena talking about her game-winning shot. With less than two minutes to play, Los Angeles sprinted to a 9-0 run and cut the lead to 79-76 with just 34.9 seconds to play.
"At a certain point, players make plays and Maya made that runner, which is why she's Maya Moore", Whalen said.
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Los Angeles also deserves plenty of praise. With attendance around the league going up, it's great to have a legit rivalry going on in the league. The win continued the Lynx's pattern of championships every other year, as they prevailed in 2011, 2013 and 2015 as well. That run also includes Finals losses in 2012 and 2016.
"They have something to say about numerous crises that are unfolding across our country, and some of what they have to say is informed by their own personal experiences with injustice". It will all be decided Wednesday night on ESPN. Alas, that is not the case for the Lynx given the low profile of the WNBA. "This group deserves to be celebrated for its sustained excellence".
Prior to the start of the WNBA Finals, league president Lisa Borders voiced support for all teams expressing their beliefs as part of a peaceful protest.
Those who have followed the sport know what a special group Minnesota has been. "I think a lot of us haven't been to a college arena in a while, played in a college arena, so it's kind of fun to get back and enjoy having the fans like right there with you as opposed to be in the bigger arenas where it's still loud, but not like college".
In the postgame press conference following her fourth WNBA title as a coach, Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve broke down at the podium when asked about putting the accomplishments of her squad in perspective.
"I absolutely felt like I needed to bring more energy tonight, and I was hoping that my team would be able to feed off of that", said Brunson.