Minneapolis, MN -- 30 is the new 20, right? Well for Sylvia Fowles, that's how she played last night on her birthday, as she was sprightly, lively and dominant in every fashion.
With a team-high 21 points paired with nine rebounds, Sylvia Fowles carried the necessary momentum that the Minnesota Lynx needed to gain their first WNBA Finals win over the Indiana Fever, 77-71.
Fowles brought the heat from the very start of the game, scoring 10 points complimented with four rebounds within the first ten minutes. Three of those four rebounds were offensive rebounds, which is a stat that Fowles has always stacked. In her seven years in the league, she has earned three WNBA All-Star appearances and two Defensive Player of the Year awards.
"She [Fowles] was impressive," said Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve. "Sylvia Fowles is the difference for us in terms of being able to put pressure on the inside."
After a stellar first quarter, she continued her torment on the offensive end as she got the Lynx their first real lead of the game with under two minutes to go in the first half with her fourth offensive board and a putback jumper from 15 feet.
The real game-changing moment for the Lynx was a tremendous play by Fowles with an offensive glass grab and an And-1 putback with six minutes left in the third quarter. She forced Fever Head Coach Stephanie White to take a timeout after scoring her 19th point accompanied by yet another offensive board.
"I think she's been playing inspired this series, and she's a big part of what they're doing now," said Fever Head Coach Stephanie White. "Sylvia's a beast."
This season, Fowles has averaged 15.7 points accompanied by 9.7 rebounds per game and is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. She has brought that same tenacity and determination on all levels of play, starting with her time at LSU.
Fowles spoke on bringing intensity and second chance points, saying "Just lock in and know we wanted to get our points in the paint, that's where we want to be, and just having faith in our teammates that we can get it done."