The Minnesota Lynx Solidify Case as Greatest WNBA Franchise Ever

The Lynx will win Game 5 if…

The Lynx will win Game 5 if…

The Lynx bullied the Sparks on the glass, out-rebounding Los Angeles 46-29 and 14 to seven on the offensive boards. Just as in 2016, the finals went to a fifth and deciding game.

"That haunted me for a long time after Game 5 past year", Fowles said.

Reeve has always regretted not getting Fowles more involved late in Game 5 a year ago, and they made sure to force-feed their MVP this time around to close the door.

"We didn't like how game three ended for us, and we just wanted to come out and set the tempo and set the tone", said Fowles. While all five Lynx starters scored in double figures it was often the team's defense and in particular their ability to effectively rebound the basketball that proved to be the difference this year.

Fowles, the regular season MVP and the Finals MVP, recorded 17 points and 20 rebounds. The Finals featured four players who had previously been named WNBA MVPs: Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Fowles and Moore.

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The Lynx led 41-35 at halftime after Moore overcame a string of misses in the second quarter to lead Minnesota with 10 first-half points. Moore signed a multi-year deal in 2015.

"We've been here grinding it out all season", Brunson said in the locker room, her number 32 jersey replaced by a WNBA Champions shirt doused in a heavy layer of freshly uncorked champagne.

"They wanted to take their place next to the Houston Comets", coach Cheryl Reeve said.

"We don't want to let anyone silence us in what we want to talk about". She finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Sparks made a weathered champion have to fight and dig out another trophy.

Regardless of who wins the championship on Wednesday, don't count on WNBA players quieting down next season.

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Fowles and team for their revenge on these same Sparks after last years game five loss to Los Angeles.

Yet even before Kaepernick garnered mass attention during the 2016 National Football League season, women's basketball has been at the forefront of social protest in the US. I get it. And when you get the No. 1 seed, everybody just says, 'Hey, you're the No. 1 team, you should win.' And I just can't explain to you in words what it's like to be those guys and to have to walk that walk every single day of greatness, of expectations every single day.

"I don't know how many years in a row where it felt like the Western Conference finals was the finals because it was the teams that had been the best all season", said ESPN analyst and former WNBA player Rebecca Lobo.

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're in it for life - this group", said Reeve, who has the highest playoff winning percentage in the history of the WNBA at 40-15. "We tried to eliminate staying in a rotation as much as we could, tried to keep bigger bodies on them, but they were persistent, more persistent than we were, especially in the first 20 minutes".

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"Playing in two five-game Finals - that's experience you can't get any other way", Ogwumike said.

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