Los Angeles, CA- Los Angeles didn’t have enough spark left in their tank to hold off an attack from the Minnesota Lynx. Final score Minnesota 77 Los Angeles 74.
If you know anything about the Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx history you’d know that this game wasn’t destined to be just another run-of-the-mill Tuesday night game. Especially knowing statistically that these two teams more or less were in a dead tie. Tonight would be the third and final face off during regular season. Each team having won game a apiece. And for a bigger picture of tonight win would also launch the winning team into the spotlight for having the best record in the league and placing them in the best position to take the number one seed in the WNBA playoffs. Bottom line this game had a lot riding on it.
Maybe the pressure that came along with tonight’s matchup was too much for the Sparks because they were really struggling to get their shots in the first quarter. Shooting only a 43.8%, and barely registering on the radar for rebounds during this quarter.
The Sparks made an attempt in the second-quarter to pull it together. And it appeared that the Lynx were trying to aid them with their shots dwindling down by 25%. Putting the Sparks within 5 points going into the half. The struggle to gain footing would find the Sparks with a defensive three second technical foul and individual technical foul on Kristi Toliver.
Unfortunately the third-quarter look no better. Christie was able to pull off a 23 foot jumper to chip away at Minnesota’s lead. But in the end it just wasn’t enough to suppress Maya Moore (20 points) Sylvia Fowles (21 points) or Lindsay Whalen (10 points)
A spark of light in this game for Los Angeles was Chelsea Gray, who broke 20 points tonight. A pleasant surprise for someone that averages 3.9 points per game. They also had three other players in double digits, Nneka Ogwuike (19 points) Candace Parker (10 points) and Kristi Toliver (11 points).
The Sparks have to quickly recover and regroup from this loss, be ready as they will be host Atlanta on Thursday, September 8. Another team that they have split the winnings with the season.
On a happier note the Sparks Nneka Ogwuike has been chosen for the fourth time this season as the Western Conference player of the week. She is ranked second in the league with 14 double-doubles. And is officially a MVP candidate for the WNBA 2016 season. Congratulations Nneka!