Web Editorial Associate
Game 1 of a WNBA Finals rematch between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks certainly lived up to the hype.
It started off by Los Angeles jumping out to a 28-2 lead midway through the first quarter, looking to be on a roll while keeping Minnesota in check.
But the Lynx fought and clawed their way back into the game.
Minnesota, which trailed by 26 points in the game and 32-11 after the first quarter, came back to even the game in the fourth quarter and even take a one-point lead with 6.5 seconds left.
But the Sparks had one final answer. With two seconds left, Chelsea Gray hit a jumper to put Los Angeles up for good and come away with an 85-84 Game 1 victory on Sunday afternoon at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
“Everyone is going to talk about what a great comeback it was, that’s not the world that we live in. That means absolutely nothing to us,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said after the game. “It’s more of what we did in the early parts of the game that we are focused on. It was pretty disappointing that that happened.”
The Lynx were led in the game by Maya Moore with 27 points, four rebounds and three assists. Sylvia Fowles had 22 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks, Seimone Augustus had 19 points and eight rebounds, Jia Perkins added six points and five rebounds and Lindsay Whalen finished with five points and six assists.
“We dug ourselves a hole, but I’m happy with the way we responded. We gave ourselves a chance to win the game,” Moore said postgame. “There’s no question that the championship isn’t going to be with that kind of stretch that we allowed in the first quarter.”
Gray led the way for the Sparks in the game with 27 points and six assists. Odyssey Sims had 16 points and five assists, Candace Parker had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Nneka Ogwumike had 11 points and six rebounds and Alana Beard had 10 points and two assists.
“They pushed back,” Ogwumike said of Minnesota. “This is the Finals against the Minnesota Lynx, they are going to punch back. We have to be able to respond to that better.”
The Sparks take a 1-0 lead over the Lynx in the best-of-five WNBA Finals series with the win. The two teams will be right back in action on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.
Highlight Of The Game
With 8:25 left in the fourth quarter, Fowles had a huge block on Los Angeles’ Parker for Sunday’s Highlight of the Game.
That block led to a fast break basket by Augustus that cut the Sparks lead to 72-62.
The Numbers Game
- The Lynx finished shooting 50 percent from the field in the game. The Sparks ended up shooting 47.8 percent in the game.
- Minnesota held a 44-32 advantage in points in the paint.
- The Sparks shot 7-for-20 from behind the arc, while the Lynx shot 5-for-14 from three in the game.
Player Of The Game
Sunday afternoon’s Lynx Player of the Game goes to Maya Moore.
Moore was a big part in helping the Lynx come back in the game, specifically in the fourth quarter.
Along with her team-best 27 points, Moore shot 10-of-16 from the field, went 2-for-2 from three and 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
The Lynx and Sparks will kick off Game 2 of the WNBA Finals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. The game will be aired on ESPN2, 106.1 BOB FM, TuneIn Radio and the Lynx App.