The Los Angeles Sparks beat the Chicago Sky last night to advance their first WNBA Finals since 2003. Candace Parker scored 29 points but she had help along the way. Kristi Toliver scored 21 points and League MVP, Nneka Ogwumike scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds as they won the series 3-1.
The Sparks have been on this mission all season as it looked from the start the team entered with one goal. A championship has eluded Parker since entering the League, and being labeled the face of the WNBA, she was beginning to have the LeBron James stigma attached to her, until he was able to break through.[embedit snippet=”2″]
Now, she gets her chance but she will not be at it alone. The Sparks will face defending champion, Minnesota Lynx in a best of five series that will start Sunday in Minneapolis.
If Parker can bring the title back to L.A. she will forever go down in Staples Center lore with the great Kobe Bryant.
During the regular season, the Sparks and Lynx met up three times with the Lynx winning twice. A championship is not guaranteed for the Sparks if history is a ruler but this is it, this is what they have fought all season for, this moment here. If Parker can continue to feed off her teammates and play the game as she has all season there is no reason they cannot win the title on their home court.
It won’t easy as the Lynx have the Finals experience and the confidence to walk into Staples Center and play like it’s their home court. If the Sparks can contain Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles this could be a sweep. What the Sparks will need to rely on is their rebounding and perimeter defense. If they can get Moore to pick up her dribble that will cause problems with the Lynx’s inside/outside game and force other players to make plays.
The Sparks must continue to do what got them there. Get the ball inside to Parker or Ogwumike and play defense. If they can knock those off their checklist, Parker will have the championship she craves.