Los Angeles, Ca – The self proclaimed #Showdown was a heartbreaking loss for the Los Angeles Sparks 72-69. The Minnesota Lynx reserve guard Renee Montgomery drops a three pointer from the corner with an assist from Lindsay Whalen going through the paint with 2.8 second for the victory.
The Sparks had a few seconds to tie but they were fouled first, Candace Parker went to the line and missed the first shot on 1 an 1. Parker was forced to miss second one when Toliver stole rebound and it appeared that she made a three to tie the game but the basket didn’t count as time expired. Even if it did count her foot was on the line making it a two pointer. It would have been a great storyline for Toliver to make that shot for the tie after leading her team with 20 points, 50% from behind the arc. Toliver spoke on the significant of today’s game, “We both brought out the best in each of us.”
The first half of play was like a wave; back and forth where neither team was able to impose their will. In a low scoring half, the Sparks held a 1 point lead 39-38 at the break. They both shot in the low 40% from the field. The Lynx had the edge in points in the paint 22/18 which kept them in the game.
The Lynx center Sylvia Fowles 6-6 frame was a force in the paint on both sides of ball. Her height caused trouble for the Sparks on some of their shots. Fowles finished with 7 points, 11 rebounds and a low post bucket with .28 seconds to tie the score again. All star Maya Moore only had 8 points in the game and due to foul trouble throughout the game she was on the bench. Moore let the refs know about her phantom 2nd foul when she picked up her third foul in 2nd quarter, “See that’s why missing that call hurts!”
Just think if the Sparks didn’t get outrebounded 42/29 in the game. The big three pointer in the corner by Toliver with 3:14 left in 3rd Quarter could have been the breakaway time with 54-47 lead that forced Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve to call a timeout. As the fourth quarter went too many second chance points was the difference in this close game.
If there is a silver lining in this Sparks loss, they didn’t play their best but still had great chance to win. It’s just one win and one loss in the big picture. The Sparks will have three games at home next week to regroup with some home cooking.