The Los Angeles Sparks moved within a game of capturing the WNBA Championship with their 92-75 win on Friday night over the Minnesota Lynx in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals. On the day of her announcement to the All-WNBA First-team, the league’s MVP in Nneka Ogwumike dominated to help put the Sparks just a win away from their first WNBA Championship since 2002.
The Sparks’ turnaround from two consecutive losing seasons can be attributed to the dominant play of their MVP, Ogwumike, who has cashed in on her dominant potential that she possessed when the Sparks took her with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft. On Friday night, she had 21 points and nine rebounds, to go along with three assists and three steals.
But the offense moved through fellow forward Candace Parker in Game 3. Taking 19 shots, Parker poured in 24 points and nine rebounds. After a 3-for-12 shooting performance in Game 2 that netted her just six points, Parker came back in a huge way.
For Minnesota, they were simply unable to slow down the Sparks on Friday. Maya Moore would have her usual well-rounded game, but took only seven shots and finished with nine points. After both her and Sylvia Fowles dominated the glass in Game 2 for double-digit rebound numbers, neither reached that mark in Game 3, putting the pressure on for Game 4 on Sunday night.
The Lynx have won three out of the last five WNBA Championships with the two non-title winning seasons ending in the Postseason. The reigning champions find their backs up against the wall on Sunday, where they’ll have to win Game 4 in Los Angeles in order to force a potential Game 5 at home back in Minnesota on Thursday.