Nneka Ogwumike saved the day!
The Minnesota Lynx were on the verge of repeating as champions after Maya Moore gave the Lynx a 76-75 lead over the Los Angeles Sparks with 15 seconds left to end the game. Lynx thought they could hang on to win the game but Ogwumike prevented that from happening by hitting a clutch basket to give Sparks a 77-76 lead with three seconds remaining.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 21, 2016
This is Sparks first title since the team won back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002, thus defeating a Lynx organization that has won three of the last five championships.
Ogwumike registered 12 points and 12 rebounds in the decisive Game 5 after being held to just six points in the first three quarters. Candace Parker shouldered the Sparks for much of the game, totalling 28 points and 12 rebounds.
Parker, who was named MVP of the Finals, dedicated the championship to her college coach, the late Pat Summit: “This is for Pat,” an emotional Candace Parker said in the after-game interview by Holly Rowe of ESPN Women’s Hoops.
Despite the Lynx losing the Finals and being unable to defend their title, Moore put up an outstanding performance, scoring 23 points. She added 11 assists and six rebounds. Seimone Augustus contributed 17 points for the Lynx in the loss.
Lynx had a 55-54 lead going into the fourth quarter, but the Sparks were unrelenting for much of the fourth quarter after being fired-up by six straight points from Chelsea Gray. Both teams fought fiercely over the course of the final minutes, but it was Ogwumike’s clutch points that won the game for the Sparks.
Images: Los Angeles Times, Getty Images.