Minnesota Lynx Avenge Last Year's Finals Lost To Win 2017 WNBA Champions

06 October, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Warren Cooper
  • MINNEAPLIS MN – OCTOBER 03 Sylvia Fowles

Los Angeles opened with a last-second shot by guard Chelsea Grey to take Game 1, then the Lynx came back with a close victory in Game 2.

"The WNBA has a fair number of African-American women who understand what it means to be discriminated on the basis of their race and gender, so they lie on the intersection of a lot of the problems that have beleaguered our country", she says.

Indeed, the Sparks seemed on track to repeat their 2016 championship after taking a 2-1 lead in this series.

As for the floor, Minnesota will have to move it back home this offseason, too.

In August, Sparks players linked arms with their counterparts on the Washington Mystics before a nationally televised game that followed a death during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. After a loss in Game 3 at Staples Center, the Lynx forced a Game 5 with an 80-69 win at Staples Center last Sunday. The game generated a 7.9 rating in the Minneapolis market.

"Honestly, rebounding", she said.

Augustus didn't turn in her best shooting performance in Game 4, but her contributions were impactful.

"It wouldn't be the finals without a scratch here and there", Ogwumike said. "You either want it or you don't".

You also have to be in the game, which Ogwumike wasn't for the last 5½ minutes because she fouled out. "I try not to put myself in those positions".

The teams, which both earned byes into the semifinals due to having the top two regular -season records, advanced to the Finals with little difficulty, with the top-seeded Lynx sweeping the Washington Mystics and the Sparks doing the same to the Phoenix Mercury. Candace Parker, so good all night (19 points with 15 rebounds), cut it to four with a 3-pointer. "But our start wasn't as up to par as we wanted it to be".

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Last season the Lynx lost Game 5 to the Sparks on a shot by Nneka Oguwmike with three seconds remaining.

The WNBA doesn't disclose terms of contracts, but Whalen, Augustus and Fowles all signed multi-year deals within the past 13 months.

Essentially, the story of this entire series was about who took control early, because the team that did won each game.

"We're not a team and I'm not a person to make excuses", Sparks coach Brian Agler said. "But I'm extremely grateful for this".

"Unfortunately, we didn't win". "But I don't know if you're going to get a more deep, committed, selfless group than we have here".

That comment would indicate that Beard, who at 35 is the oldest of the Sparks, is leaning toward returning next season.

Although WNBA Commissioner Lisa Borders must be mindful of her players' potential to alienate the league's niche fan base, she has been supportive of their right to protest thus far. "What a way to cap off the season, " she said. She isn't going to play overseas this winter and instead will focus on her business ventures, which include ownership of a restaurant.

"I think every time you do this, it gets a little bit more special because it gets a little harder", Whalen said. "We made some really good plays and just couldn't get over the hump". "But I just thought Whalen had a way about her today". And we needed it. Ball pressure was getting to us in other games. "We have to keep that in mind".

A few years ago, the Lynx and Sparks would not have met on this stage. Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and a proud core have danced in the confetti and bathed in bubbly four times now.

Overall, the 2017 WNBA Finals averaged a 0.5 metered market rating for its five games, up 24 percent from 2016.

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