It all comes down to this.
Win this game and the Lynx host a first-round playoff game. Lose and they need a loss by the Seattle Storm in order to avoid going on the road.
While this game doesn’t mean much for Los Angeles in terms of the standings (they’re locked into the No. 3 seed by virtue of tiebreakers over Las Vegas and Chicago), a game against your archrival always comes with a little bit of extra motivation. The Lynx cannot fall into the trap of thinking that the Sparks won’t be taking this game seriously.
That being said, the Lynx don’t need the Sparks to rest players or not give their best effort in order to win. Minnesota is playing its best basketball of the season having won five games in a row. Their offense has been excellent in that stretch—they have shot over 50 percent from the field, the best in the league in that span.
Playing on the road is tough, but the Lynx were the more disciplined, focused and locked-in team in Phoenix on Friday. The message all week coming out of practice was that the team was extremely focused and knew what it had to do. It seems like that message was accurate. Now, the Lynx control their fate. This should be a good one.
What: Lynx at Sparks
When: 3 p.m.
Where: Staples Center
Listen: BOB FM 106.1.
Odyssey Sims has yet to really have a strong game against her former team so Sunday is the perfect time for her to break out. Sims leads the Lynx in scoring on the season but she has only managed seven and 11 points against Los Angeles in the teams’ first two meetings. However, Sims wasn’t playing as well as she is now heading into either of those games so this should be a good opportunity to show the Sparks why they shouldn’t have given up on a future star in this league.
Something You Might Not Have Known…
Sims is now responsible for five of the Lynx franchise’s 20 games where a player has scored at least 20 points and added at least eight assists. That’s extremely impressive. Sims has turned her play up a notch lately and the Lynx are seeing the benefits. Her passing vision and chemistry with her teammates has grown exponentially since the All-Star break. When Sims is the best player on the floor like she has been lately, the Lynx are in a good position to succeed.
Lynx: Karima Christmas-Kelly (knee) and Jessica Shepard (ACL) are out.
Sparks: Karlie Samuelson (knee) is out.
Lynx: PG—Sims, SG—Talbot, SF—Collier, PF—Dantas, C—Fowles
Sparks: PG—Gray, SG—Williams, SF—Ruffin-Pratt, PF—Ogwumike, C—Parker