Web Editorial Associate
With their backs against the wall and season on the line, the Minnesota Lynx stepped up like they have all season.
Minnesota took down the Los Angeles Sparks 80-69 on Sunday night at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles to take Game 4 of the WNBA Finals, evening the series at 2-2 and forcing a winner-take-all Game 5.
“I’m just proud of our team. Only one team has come in here this season and won a game. We knew it was a tall task, but we were up for it and we were willing to do whatever was necessary,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said after the game. “I think our hustle plays were the story of the game. Getting on the glass, making our own breaks, that’s what we’re about. We were able to get that done tonight.”
Sylvia Fowles led the way for the Lynx, tallying 22 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks. Rebekkah Brunson had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Maya Moore had 15 points and eight rebounds, Seimone Augustus had 10 points and eight rebounds, Lindsay Whalen had four points and eight assists and Renee Montgomery had five points and three assists.
“We didn’t like how Game 3 ended for us. We wanted to come out and set the tempo and set the tone,” Fowles said. “We are back at Game 5. We want to make sure we come out and we play well while we are at home and make sure we go take care of business.”
For Los Angeles, Odyssey Sims had 18 points, Nneka Ogwumike had 17 points and eight rebounds, Candace Parker had 11 points and eight rebounds, Alana Beard had eight points and six rebounds and Chelsea Gray had eight points and nine assists.
“I want to congratulate Minnesota, I thought they played extremely well,” Sparks head coach Brian Agler said. “I thought they played to their strengths and they played determined. We’ll have to regroup and get ready for Game 5.”
This series has been so good that it’s only right it goes to a series-deciding Game 5. The championship will be on the line at 7 p.m. Wednesday night back at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
You’re going to want to be there, Lynx fans.
“Nothing is guaranteed. It doesn’t matter where you’re playing, you just have to go out there and be prepared for anything to happen,” Brunson said about preparing for Game 5. “You have to go out and leave it all out there. . . We just have to go out there and play.”
Highlight Of The Game
With two minutes left in the second quarter, Fowles rejected Los Angeles’ Parker at the rim to record her first block of the game.
At the time, Minnesota led Los Angeles 38-27.
The Numbers Game
- The Lynx out-rebounded the Sparks 48-28 in the game.
- Minnesota finished shooting 42.4 percent from the field in the game, while Los Angeles shot 40.6 percent.
- In the first half of Sunday’s game, Moore passed Diana Taurasi as the all-time leader in field goals made in WNBA playoff history.
Player Of The Game
Sunday night’s Lynx Player of the Game goes to Rebekkah Brunson.
Brunson was huge for Minnesota in the win, going off for 18 points and 13 rebounds in 34-plus minutes. Her 18 points included 10 from the free throw line.
“She is someone that just responds. They are picking their poison and are telling her you’re going to have to play well. And each time she has, we’ve won,” Reeve said. “From the standpoint of our team, she is a huge part of our identity. I was particularly proud of her today.”
With the series tied 2-2, the Lynx and Sparks head back to Minneapolis for a winner-take-all Game 5 at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Williams Arena. The game will be aired on ESPN, 106.1 BOB FM, TuneIn Radio and the Lynx App.