Long Beach, CA – Today was game two of the WNBA Western Conference Semifinals between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx, where the Sparks were able to pull off a warrior’s victory (Sparks 81 Lynx 71).
The Sparks went into today’s battle in a do or die position having lost the first game at the Target Center in Minnesota on Friday (September 18th). Looking at today’s game it was obvious the Sparks studied footage from Friday’s game where Maya Moore clearly owned the court putting up a hardy 33 points (a career high) and Seimone Augustus with a solid 17 points. Sparks Head Coach Brian Agler also brought to his team’s attention that even though they (the Sparks) had four players in the double digits that those efforts were all in vain if they allow the Lynx’s 23 points off of turnovers.
The Sparks answered the call to battle with zero hesitation. The Sparks looked energetic and assertive. The Sparks had at one point a 22 point lead over the Lynx. The Lynx attempted to make a run in the 3rd quarter and the Sparks looked like they were about to throw in the towel but unfortunately for the Lynx it was a false alarm. The Sparks were able to come out of the timeout with the right strategy to shut down the Lynx on those chance opportunities. During the game it was noted that the Lynx were not prepared for Ana Dabovic ( 19 points) to come off of the bench shooting nothing but fire. The Lynx’s Moore was still able to get 27 points in but with the Sparks blocking like they were antiaircraft missiles it wouldn’t be enough on this here night.
The Sparks had four players in double digits (Candace Parker 25, Jantel Lavender 11, Alana Beard 11, and Ana Dabovic 19). This battle was not without its casualties. Nneka Ogwumike took a hard foul in the 3rd resulting in a strained neck. It is not know if she will be healed and back on the court for game 3. Candice was quick to credit this win to great teamwork, focus and playing the last minute like it is the first.
Tonight’s victory gives both teams a win a piece. The war will be picked back up in Minnesota on Tuesday September 22, with the winner advancing to the next round. Both of these teams have a war chest full of talent so it’s going to come down which team wants it more.