LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The New York Liberty won the "test of wills" with the Los Angeles Sparks Wednesday, holding them off for the 66-64 win.
Tina Charles had 31 points and 15 rebounds for the Liberty, while Cappie Pondexter added 16 points. Nneka Ogwumike was the high scorer for the Sparks, with 23 points. Jantel Lavender had 16 and Kristi Toliver, 13. Los Angeles All-Star forward Candace Parker sat out with a left knee strain, and is day to day.
In some ways, the 2015 WNBA Finals is resembling its 2012 counterpart. Just like three years ago, the Minnesota Lynx bounced back from a loss to defeat the Indiana Fever, winning 77-71 Tuesday night at Target Center and evening the series at one game apiece.
However, the subplots emerging this year add new twists to the history of these teams. One such area is officiating, a topic of heavy scrutiny since the WNBA's statement regarding an incorrect foul call at the end of the Western Conference Finals between Phoenix and Minnesota.
MINNEAPOLIS--Ever since the participants in the 2015 WNBA Finals became apparent early last week with the Indiana Fever's dispatch of the top-seeded New York Liberty in the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday, a recurring theme has arisen: Would this year's WNBA championship feature a reprise of, or revenge for, the 2012 Finals in which the underdog Fever upset the Minnesota Lynx, the overwhelming favorites, en route to the first (and still the only) WNBA championship in franchise history.
PHOENIX, Ariz. – There were a sellout crowd, a 40-point performance, and multiple questionable calls, including an outcome-decisive foul call in the final seconds of Game Two of the WNBA Western Conference Finals in Phoenix on Sunday. But by the time the final buzzer sounded, the Minnesota Lynx were the ones dancing at center court, celebrating a 72-71 win to cap off a sweep of the Phoenix Mercury and their fourth trip to the WNBA Finals in the past five years.
Search parties on the lookout for Rebekkah Brunson were called back Thursday night at Target Center.
The Minnesota Lynx forward had 13 points and a career playoff best 19 rebounds to highlight a 67-60 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Mercury.
Brunson's role had diminished since the arrival of Sylvia Fowles midway through the season, but Brunson's value was never more clear against the defending WNBA champions; since Fowles was primarily assigned to Phoenix center Brittney Griner, Brunson was free to attack virtually everywhere else.
SEATTLE -- Twenty-seven players made their WNBA debuts in 2015. As the regular season wrapped up, however, the debate in most circles over the ones that have done the most for their new teams had dwindled to two: Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd, and New York Liberty forward Kiah Stokes.
MINNEAPOLIS -- A familiar and star-studded cast headlines the Western Conference Finals, with the Phoenix Mercury and Minnesota Lynx meeting for the third straight year to go with their inaugural playoff duel in 2011. However, the subplot is not quite the same as previous meetings; in 2013, Minnesota was a clear favorite to win the championship, and Phoenix held that standing last year. This time around, the winner could be a potential underdog in the Finals, especially if New York wins the East, but the first item of business is getting to the championship round.
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Mercury are back in the WNBA Western Conference finals for the third consecutive season and are now just five victories away from winning back-to-back WNBA titles. Standing in their way, however, is the top seed from the West, an explosive and deep Minnesota Lynx team.
Charles -- Tina Charles, that is -- was most definitely in charge on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. But this year's playoffs have been chock full of big moments for spark plugs off the bench, and Tuesday's must-win Game Three of the series between New York and Washington would prove no different as Sugar Rodgers came off the pines for 20 points to carry Liberty, once the perennial East champion, over the Mystics, 79-74, and on to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in five years.