Sport

Lynx hold off Sparks rally to win Game 2 of WNBA Finals

Lynx hold off Sparks rally to win Game 2 of WNBA Finals”

Yes, as expected, Monday's film review of Game 1 of the WNBA finals was what you might have expected it to be for the Lynx.

What do these two teams have in store for an encore?

Brunson, who really struggled in the opener, was on fire from the start on Tuesday. Game 3 is Friday (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET) at Staples Center.

"It's mind-boggling for a team that's been here however many times", Reeve said. They ran a similar play as they did in Game 1 of the 2016 WNBA Finals.

"I didn't see anyone open", Beard said. "That's why it felt so good to come out this morning, put it behind us and work up a sweat". And it's just unacceptable. "It suggests to me that maybe we're playing against a team that wants to win maybe more than us. So that's the solution - to play every possession like its your last".

Reeve added that she didn't just talk to the team about their effort, but that they discussed tactics as well. Does Brian Agler, the Sparks' Head Coach, let the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Alana Beard, trail Maya Moore or does he let the two best players on the floor - Moore and Parker -go head-to-head? Ogwumike added 11 points.

At shootaround, the Lynx's standard starting five of Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus, Moore, Brunson and Fowles ran through plays together, which suggests there will not be a change to the starting lineup for Game 2. But Chelsea Gray lost the handle on her dribble for a turnover, one of two big ones by Los Angeles in the final 14 seconds.

Minnesota's small lineup help get them back into the game as it took time for the Sparks to figure out how to combat the new-look lineup.

"It's something we've been doing consistently for a while now, and the message remains the same", Montgomery said. "We have to be able to react". When that small lineup is on the court for extended minutes, it requires what Ogwumike described as reprogramming. "She knows what we're capable of, and she had faith in us we can get it done". A wake-up call for a team nobody expected to need one. Ogwumike and Parker have said that the display is not meant to be derogatory toward the flag or American soldiers.

The best-of-five series shifts to Los Angeles.

Who Will Be Ready For Their Moment? The Sparks had a chance to tie or win the game Tuesday, but Rebekkah Brunson knocked the ball away from Chelsea Gray and Maya Moore picked it up.

Ogwumike is a flawless example of this. I can not fathom how the Lynx allow a team to beat them at the buzzer - not once, not twice but three times now, including for the championship - and don't come out of the locker room for Game Two with a lot of fire.

But, if Game One is a harbinger of things to come, Sparks fans have to be concerned about the team's consistency. Gray finished Game One with a career high, 27 points. Because of the increase in season ticket holders, supply will be very limited. Candace Parker has led the team in points, rebounds and assists during the playoffs and, as insane as it is to say for someone who's been Rookie of the Year, Regular Season MVP and Finals MVP and who is a perennial All-Star, she's probably playing the best basketball of her career.

"You have to stay active and stay ready because at some point it could be your moment".

"It wasn't necessarily the game-winner but that shot had to go in", she said.



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