Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx are in Los Angeles to take on the Sparks in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals on Friday night at STAPLES Center.
To get you ready for the game, here are out three Keys to the Game:
1. Defense, Defense, Defense
One of the keys for Minnesota in its Game 2 win in Minneapolis was defense. It will certainly be important in Game 3 as well.
In the victory in Game 2, the Lynx held the Sparks to 28.1 percent shooting and 26 points in the first half. In the entire game, Minnesota held Los Angeles to shooting 38.7 percent from the field.
Most importantly, the Lynx held the Sparks’ Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike to a combined three points on 0-for-11 shooting in the opening half of Game 2, which helped them jump out in front of the Sparks in the first two quarters.
One of the best things Minnesota can do in its first road game of the Finals on Friday would be to take the crowd out of the game by holding the Los Angeles offense in check like in Game 2.
2. Have Strong Start, But Finish Stronger
In the first two games of the season, each team has come out and started the game strong.
In Game 1, Los Angeles led by as much as 26 points in the first quarter, ultimately coming away with the win. In Game 2, the Lynx returned the favor in leading by as much as 20 points in the opening quarter and ending up evening the series.
But as important as it has been for each team to come out of the gate strong, it will be as important for each team to focus on finishing the games stronger for the rest of the series.
After Los Angeles took its 26-point lead in Game 1, Minnesota fought its way back to take the lead late in the game. The similar thing happened in Game 2 when the Lynx took their 20-point lead, as the Sparks came back to bring the game within two.
3. Contribution From The Bench
The contributions from Minnesota’s bench has and will continue to be a key thing in this series.
In Game 1, Jia Perkins emerged as the key player off the bench, leading the bench with six points and giving the Lynx a spark.
In Game 2, that bench player was Renee Montgomery, finishing with seven points and providing much-needed energy off the bench.
Who will it be in Game 3 for Minnesota? We will just have to wait and see.
Tip off between the Lynx and Sparks is set for 8 p.m. (CT) at STAPLES Center. You can watch the game on ESPN2 and the ESPN App or listen to the action on 106.1 BOB FM, TuneIn Radio or the Lynx App.