After a pair of thrilling WNBA Finals games, the Sparks and Lynx move their series back to Los Angeles tied at one game apiece.
The Sparks won the first game by a point and the Lynx rebounded to win game two by two points, tight contests that have produced record ratings according to the WNBA and ESPN.
“We haven’t won there this year,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “L.A. has done a great job of taking care of their homecourt this entire season, including the playoffs.”
The Sparks, who were a league-best 15-1 at home this season, haven’t lost in the Staples Center since a two-point defeat to the Sky on July 20.
“We’re playing at Staples and we haven’t lost much at Staples, so I think that contributes to the crowd we’re going to see,” Sparks forward Nneke Ogwumike said. “Our fans are going to be proud to see us play at Staples. … Obviously we have to play hard for each other in order for us to do something big on Staples’ court.”
The Lynx’s win in game two broke an 11-game win streak for the Sparks, the longest of any team in the WNBA Finals in history.
Both teams agreed that one of the reasons the contests have been so tight is that they’re so familiar with each other. Because they went a full five games in last year’s Finals, they’ve played 10 times in the last year.
“I think that when you play somebody so many times you know what the other person is going to do,” Sparks forward Candace Parker said. “You just try to make it tough on them. That’s what they try to do to us and that’s what we try to do to them.”
Reeve didn’t mince words in explaining why she thought the series has been so good.
“Talent,” she said. “Talent on both sides. L.A. is good, we’re good. There’s really good players on both teams and that’s the league the last two years.”
Game four will be in Staples Center on Sunday, with a possible game five moving back to Minnesota on Wednesday next week.
WNBA Finals: Sparks vs….