Los Angeles, CA – It had a playoff atmosphere feel in the air at a sold out Staples Center who saw the LA Sparks shut down Minnesota Lynx 78-67.
“I know for the fans it was a great game for them to watch,” said Candace Parker
The Sparks will go as far as their team defense, they were able to control the game and keep Maya Moore of Lynx to only 10 points.
Parker hit here first shot of the game from downtown, so you knew she was looking for her shot. Parker was the game leading scorer with 24 points, and 10 rebounds.
“When Candace plays aggressive, she can score and facilitate,” said coach Brian Agler.
The Sparks now have the No. 2 seed if playoffs started today but still have a chance to knock off Lynx with some help and the win today.
This team really came out with a game plan of defense first, which is a signature of Agler coached teams. They finished the game with 17 fast break points off 11 team steals from the Sparks defense.
“The are a tough team,” said Parker, “We wanted to make shots hard for them.”
Watching the game and listening to the players in the locker room the word “Defense” was a resounding theme.
Guard Chelsea Gray has consistently stepped up like an All-Star that she is dropping 16 points and 5 assist, Odyssey Sims finished in double figures with 12 points.
Minnesota leading scorer was center Sylvia Fowles who kept getting deep position in the paint having a team high 17 points.
Moore who was guarded most of the night by Alana Beard was held to just 5 points in first three quarters of play. Beard night in night out takes on top scores and plays them upfront and in their face.
“When it come to defense, it’s all about team,” said Beard, “It’s our system.”
Down the stretch of this season the Sparks have really stepped it up and it showed tonight not taking off a quarter during the game.
As the saying goes, you always want to be playing you best going into the playoffs and the Sparks are doing just that.