Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles lead the Minnesota Lynx in Game 5 to beat the LA Sparks and win their 4th WNBA title in 7 years.
Again, the Minnesota Lynx have proven that they’re one of the best teams in the WNBA. Unlike last season’s Game 5 of last season, the Lynx were more than prepared to face the Sparks. Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore made sure of that. Behind their stars, Minnesota dominated this WNBA Finals Game 5 matchup from start to finish. Candace Parker tried her best to make things interesting. However, the Lynx simply wouldn’t let themselves be denied of a fourth title.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) October 5, 2017
Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles save the day
As I said in my article yesterday, the Lynx would need another great performance from its stars. Thankfully, Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles delivered just that. Fowles again had another dominant performance against the Sparks’ frontline. Not only did she put up 17 points, the reigning MVP also collared a whopping 20 rebounds. Attacking from the wings, Moore was near unstoppable herself. She had 18 points to go along with 10 boards. More importantly, she made a crucial running jumpshot with less than 30 seconds left on the clock. This gave the Minnesota Lynx a 5-point lead that the Sparks could never recover from.
When you need one bucket to ice the WNBA Finals … turn to Maya Moore. pic.twitter.com/HmJobUWxnO
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 5, 2017
Too little, too late for the Sparks
For the second straight game, the Los Angeles Sparks found themselves struggling on offense. Candace Parker still had an impressive outing with her 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. However, she had little help beyond Chelsea Gray’s 15 points and 8 assists. Nneka Ogwumike again struggled in her time on the floor. Last year’s MVP only managed a measly 11 points. Aside from this, she was out of the game in the 5:29 mark of the 4th quarter.
The Lynx started strong, but Candace Parker's first-quarter buzzer-beater showed the Sparks aren't going away in Game 5 on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/GBiESZA5DL
— ESPN (@espn) October 5, 2017
The Sparks did manage to cut down the Minnesota Lynx lead late in the final period. LA suddenly found its defense to start the fourth and started to chip down on Minnesota’s lead. Riquna Williams and Odyssey Sims’ efforts helped trim the Lynx’s lead to just 3 points, 79-76. With less than a minute left, it was eerily looking like a repeat of last year. Unfortunately for the Sparks, Maya Moore hit the crucial running jumper.
The Minnesota Lynx were just too good
In my WNBA Finals Game 5 preview, I talked about the need for the rest of the Lynx starters to step up. True enough, they did just that. Aside from Moore and Fowles, Minnesota also saw crucial contributions from Lindsay Whalen. The veteran point guard did a fine job of running the offense and getting Fowles the ball. Whalen finished the game with 17 points while also dishing out a team-high 8 assists. Other than Whalen, Seimone Augustus also had a solid outing for Minnesota with her 14 points.
— WNBA (@WNBA) October 5, 2017
What’s next for Minnesota?
At the most, the Minnesota Lynx have a year or two left with their current core. Maya Moore is still pretty young at 28. Unfortunately, the rest of the team’s starters aren’t. Of course, they can still set the record for the team with the most number of championships in WNBA history. And based on what we just saw earlier, the probability of this happening is pretty high. With that said, their best window of opportunity would be next season. Barring any changes to their lineup, they’ll still be favored to win it all.