Web Editorial Associate
Coming within one point a few different times in the fourth quarter, the Minnesota Lynx weren’t quite able to complete the comeback on Friday night in Los Angeles.
Minnesota fell short to the Los Angeles Sparks 75-64 in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals on Friday at STAPLES Center.
“Our defense gave us a chance to win,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said after the game. “We have about four shots on goal that I thought were all good shots. We couldn’t get one to go down and LA executed their offense and hit a big three. . . We couldn’t convert and then it was hard from there to play catch-up.”
The Lynx were able to claw their way back into the game, much like they did in Game 1, erasing a 13-point deficit. But the Sparks held Minnesota off.
“I am really appreciative of that group that was in there battling and gave us a chance to win the game,” Reeve said. “That group (in the fourth quarter) turned the tide a little bit. We tried to win the game with a rookie point guard (Alexis Jones). We had to go small and I have an appreciation for what that group did to give us a chance in the end.”
Maya Moore led the way for Minnesota, tallying 16 points (all in the second half) and three rebounds. Sylvia Fowles had 15 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks, Renee Montgomery had 12 points and two rebounds, Alexis Jones had nine points and four assists, Rebekkah Brunson had six points and two rebounds and Natasha Howard had four points off the bench.
“I think overall, I think we were satisfied with our defensive execution for the most part,” Moore said. “We just have to do what we know we can do from start to finish.”
Nneka Ogwumike had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Odyssey Sims had 16 points and three assists for Los Angeles. Chelsea Gray had 14 points and seven assists and Candace Parker finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
With the win, Los Angeles takes a 2-1 series lead over Minnesota heading into Game 4 of the WNBA Finals on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
“There’s been a theme that the team that punches first seems to set the tone for the game, so we want to set the tone for (Game 4),” Renee Montgomery said. “Next game is do or die. We are going to have to play like our season is on the line next game. You play like it’s your last game.”
Highlight Of The Game
With 2:48 left to go in the second quarter, Fowles locked things down defensively for Minnesota.
Fowles recorded the first of her two first-half blocks in the quarter and helped the Lynx cut the Sparks lead to 28-20.
The Numbers Game
- The Lynx finished shooting 40.3 percent from the field in the game. The Sparks shot 42.9 percent from the field.
- Minnesota made seven threes in the game, shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc.
- The Sparks outscored the Lynx 30-26 in points in the paint and held a 12-8 advantage in second chance points.
Player Of The Game
Friday night’s Lynx Player of the Game goes to Maya Moore.
Moore led the team with 16 points in the game, all of which came in the second half. Moore finished shooting 6-of-9 from the field, including 2-for-2 from three and going 2-for-3 from the free throw line.
Along with her 16 points, Moore finished with three rebounds, three steals and two assists in 27-plus minutes.
The Lynx and Sparks will face off again in Game 4 at 7:30 p.m. (CT) on Sunday night at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The game will be aired on ESPN, 106.1 BOB FM, TuneIn Radio and the Lynx App.