Fowles, Moore push Lynx past Sparks for WNBA title

Fowles, Moore push Lynx past Sparks for WNBA title

Fowles, Moore push Lynx past Sparks for WNBA title

Lindsay Whalen, the Minnesota Lynx's point guard, heaved a shot from the backcourt but it was too late-the Sparks had won it all. How this for a ridiculous stat: Heading into Game 5 on Wednesday night in Minnesota, the teams were tied in points (908-908) over their last 12 meetings including the regular season and WNBA Finals. The Lynx claimed their fourth WNBA title in seven years.

"If I didn't do anything else, I just wanted to make sure I'd go out there and rebound".

"I'll take time to think about it; it's not something I've really thought about", Beard said of the 2018 season. She also won a ring with the now-defunct Sacramento Monarchs in 2005.

Augustus didn't turn in her best shooting performance in Game 4, but her contributions were impactful.

Fowles was the top overall rebounder in the first half with 10, while Parker pulled down seven first-half rebounds for Los Angeles.

"That haunted me for a long time after Game 5 a year ago", Fowles said. "Like I said, I fell on the court, that haunted me for a long time after Game 5 past year. I wanted to come in and show my presence, and that was rebounding".

All five Lynx starters scored in double figures and deserve recognition. And Fowles easily eclipsed another double-double, pouring in 17 points and grabbing 20 boards, more rebounds than any player in WNBA Finals history.

That sustained excellence is equal parts fortune (using the No. 1 picks they got in exchange for having the league's worst record to draft can't-miss stars Augustus in 2006 and Moore in '11), prudence (trading for Fowles and Whalen, and selecting forward Rebekkah Brunson in the 2009 dispersal draft) and scouting (acquiring supporting players who could start on other teams, such as Renee Montgomery).

The defending champion Sparks will likely repeat the gesture to raise awareness of racial injustice for tonight's deciding Game 5 in Minneapolis, while Lynx players continue to link arms in solidarity.

"It's a microcosm of society and where we place women's sports", Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve told me in 2016. This is what we always talk about. "Everyone wants to talk about who scores, but it's those plays in those moments that win a game for you".

"Yeah, that was tough for me, but I have faith in my teammates", said Ogwumike, who finished with 11 points and three rebounds. She made the Sparks pay for leaving her open.

The Lynx became just the second franchise in WNBA history to win the title four times.

Last season the Lynx lost Game 5 to the Sparks on a shot by Nneka Oguwmike with three seconds remaining. She's one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, and this performance may have been her best.

"I'm blessed I feel to just be around these guys every day", Reeve said, beginning to cry.

"It's more meaningful", Fowles said of this award.

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.

"We had all those turnovers at the end and they nearly came back", she said.

Moore somehow got the ball, evaded the pressure, drove to the middle of the lane and hit a one-footed runner to give the Lynx the breathing room they needed.

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