Minnesota’s’ 10-point lead near the seven-minute mark dwindled down to one, with two minutes remaining. They held on after two missed shots in the waning seconds, one each by the respective team’s game leading scorers — Maya Moore, who led all scorers with 33 points, and Candace Parker, who led L.A. with 16, to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
“I like their composure,” noted Minnesota Timberwolves Assistant Coach Sidney Lowe, who took a night off from training camp preparation to take in the Lynx-Sparks contest on the court that the two teams share in downtown Minneapolis. “They made key stops when they needed to. This was a good win.”
“We needed Game One,” added the Lynx’s “sideline coach” Tonyus Chavers, who’s featured in this week’s MSR print edition and web site. “I had a ball. I like tight games, too.”
“It is good to sit and watch other teams watch the coaches,” admitted Lowe on the WNBA action.
Minnesota center Sylvia Fowles, in her post-game assessment, said she and her teammates had “good enough moments” where their defense clicked, and some when it didn’t. “We stayed together and got the win,” she said.
“Our defense was good at key moments,” added Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen, in her first game since August 30.
Friday’s contest between top-seed Minnesota and fourth-seed Los Angeles looks like the better of the two Western match-ups – Phoenix set a league record with a lopsided win over Tulsa Thursday for a 1-0 lead.
Both Lynx players agreed afterwards on what it takes for Minnesota to close out the series in Los Angeles Sunday: Fowles said the Lynx must “keep our feet down” when they get a lead against the Sparks. Whalen noted that the team must execute better.
Chavers pointed out that the Lynx need more from Rebekkah Brunson (six points) and Fowles (five points) and she also implored reserve guard Anna Cruz to shoot more – “She passes up her shot too much,” said the fan/coach.
“I thought they played well,” concluded Lowe.
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