Score after the first quarter in Game 1: 32-11 in favor of Los Angeles.
Score after the first quarter in Game 2: 28-10 in favor of Minnesota.
The Lynx have Game 1 of the WNBA Finals to thank for tonight’s (Sept. 26) Game 2 victory against the Sparks to tie up the best-of-five series, 1-1.
It wasn’t Candace Parker’s sprained ankle, it wasn’t cold shooting from LA to start the game and it wasn’t a particular player’s heroics or lack thereof that defined Game 2 (although Sylvia Fowles is unstoppable).
It’s just that Minnesota wasn’t going to lose Game 2 after what happened in Game 1.
You could sense their urgency from the tip – and it translated to a 19-point advantage at halftime. The best part about basketball at the highest level, and with the most at stake like during the finals, is that competition shows its fiercest side.
And when the fierce can be seen and felt every which way you turn, there is a level of unpredictability that comes with it. However, what’s predictable is a team like Minnesota’s ability to bounce back. It’s not easy, but at this point in the season, there really is no choice to be made. They just do.
I would go as far to say that the less-than-usual productivity in Game 2 – compared to the first four playoff games where they averaged a combined 33 points – from Parker and Nneka Ogwumike had something to do with the Lynx’s start and finish.
It was a stifling and suffocating sense of urgency. Minnesota did not leave much room for Los Angeles to bounce back or even think about gaining momentum. And when LA did have momentum, it was too little too late.
The Sparks made it interesting, but the roar was definitely heard in Game 2.