The Los Angeles Sparks, who went to their locker room during the national anthem for the first four games of the WNBA Finals, stayed on the court before the decisive Game 5 Wednesday at Williams Arena. The win left the series to exactly the point where Minnesota lost the title a year ago - an ending Lynx guard Seimone Augustus said on Sunday she wanted to change.
"Maya made that runner, which is why she is Maya Moore", said Whalen. "I think it will be hard to find another group as talented, as deep but as selfless as this group", said Moore after the game. "And it's also why we like her on this team". It was nearly as bad in Game 5, in which they were outrebounded by 17. The telecast averaged a 0.9 in the Los Angeles market. She said she's especially proud of those rebounds - something she fell short on past year. "Like I said, I fell on the court, that haunted me for a long time after Game 5 a year ago". "I just wanted to come in and show my presence".
All five Lynx starters scored in double figures and deserve recognition.
Fowles, the regular season MVP and the Finals MVP, recorded 17 points and 20 rebounds. Although the New York Liberty exited in the second round of the playoffs, there was one more postseason honor as Tina Charles was named All-WNBA First Team for the fifth time in her career. Moore signed a multi-year deal in 2015.
If you still want to attend tonight's WNBA Game 5 between the Lynx and L.A. Sparks at Williams Arena, hurry.
"I wasn't stressed at all", Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve joked during the postgame trophy presentation. "Some of the plays, diving on the floor for a loose ball, that's the stuff we talk about". She and Whalen failed to score at all in Game 3.
The point guard scored 17 points, dished out eight assists and made the two free throws that iced the game.
But Rebekkah Brunson was key, scoring 13 points and hauling in eight rebounds to follow up her huge performance in Game 4. Down 2-1 in this series, Reeve pushed all the right buttons to get her team ready for the final two games.
Yet even before Kaepernick garnered mass attention during the 2016 National Football League season, women's basketball has been at the forefront of social protest in the US. "It gets a little more meaningful because you know it's not easy, and it's not something we take for granted, ever".
The Sparks rallied back at the end of all four quarters, but they were never able to start the next quarter with any momentum, stymied by the Lynx rebounding and some fouls that hurt their momentum.
"The WNBA has a fair number of African-American women who understand what it means to be discriminated on the basis of their race and gender, so they lie on the intersection of a lot of the problems that have beleaguered our country", she says. "We did everything we could, we needed everyone to rebound and everyone to leave everything that they had out there".
The 2017 WNBA Finals have a familiar feel-same electricity as 2016, same two teams, same intensity and the same do-or-die quality. Candace Parker led the Sparks with 19 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks while Chelsea Gray had 15 points and 8 assists. "People are just admiring our game at this point and everyone is tuning in to see what's happening".