Magic Johnson's Los Angeles Sparks endured possible elimination Sunday to force a third and final playoff game versus the two-time WNBA champions the Minnesota Lynx in an 81-71 win.
The secret behind the revamped and seemingly unstoppable Los Angeles Sparks team is an undeniably combination between commitment from the players, knowledge from Head Coach Brian Agler and continued support from owner Magic Johnson.
As the Sparks flow into postseason play, they continue to find cohesiveness as a unit. This success was not born overnight, but has certainly come together in perfect timing. LA has climbed from the worst record in the WNBA to a serious title contender. With the continued support from Johnson, the Sparks have dangerously found harmony in their squad.
Trumping the Lynx in a win or go home situation, LA has forced a game three in Minnesota Tuesday. For many the Sparks have exceeded expectations but for them this looks like it may only be the beginning.
Leading the pack is none other than Candace Parker. Parker is not only a force on offense but is relentlessly finding ways to improve her game. Scoring 25 points in this win, 18 from the first half, Parker indeed made her existence known.
After resting for the greater half of the season, Parker has returned more than energized and animated in her performances.
Surrounding Parker and another key to LA's success is the heart-filled presence of Nneka Ogumike. Also absent from nearly a dozen games due to injury, Ogumike may not be the top scorer, but her perseverance and consistency has only enhanced the Sparks in terms of greatness.
A blow to Ogumike's head in the 3rd left her on the bench for the remainder of the game.
Ana Dabovic stepped up and rallied a career and playoff high of 19 points off the bench. She went 5-10 from the field while dishing out a game-high seven assists.
As LA progresses, Parker continues to perfect her skills positively in tuned with the Sparks needs. Looking very relaxed from the 3-point line she went 3-6. What makes her so great is that she finds the right moment to ignite exactly what her team needs.
Parker found comfortability in her teammates with six assists to show her selflessness and trust in this team.
The Sparks now need to gear up for what might be the toughest game of their season thus far where they face a tenacious Maya Moore and the Lynx in Minnesota to lock up a Western Conference final spot.