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  1. #736
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    Lynx force decisive Game 5, top Sparks
    October 1, 2017


    LOS ANGELES (AP) Sylvia Fowles and the Minnesota Lynx weren't about to let their season end in Los Angeles.

    The WNBA MVP helped the Lynx force a decisive fifth game in the WNBA Finals by scoring 22 points and grabbing 14 rebounds as Minnesota beat Los Angeles 80-69 on Sunday night. It's the second consecutive year that these two teams will play a deciding game in Minnesota for the crown.

    ''Advantage? No, we're back in Game 5. We wanted to make sure we came out and we played well,'' Fowles said.

    Minnesota, which is trying for its fourth title in seven years, played extremely well as they dominated inside the paint with baskets and rebounds. Minnesota outrebounded the Sparks 48-28. The Sparks had outrebounded the Lynx in Game 3 and that was a point of emphasis for the team to be more physical inside.

    ''To compete with Minnesota, you have to stay in the same game with them in the rebounding,'' Sparks coach Brian Agler said. ''Obviously, that was a wide margin. They were more aggressive, no question. They doubled our free throw attempts. I'm not saying that to debate the officiating. The point is they were a lot more aggressive and got themselves to the free-throw line. They gave themselves opportunities and second-chance points on the offensive boards. We didn't play the way we needed to play to have success against them.''

    Odyssey Sims led the Sparks with 18 points and Nneka Ogwumike added 17. No Sparks player reached double figures in rebounding.

    Candace Parker, who finished with 11 points and eight rebounds, and the Sparks are hoping to become the league's first repeat champion since Los Angeles in 2002.

    In order to do that, they'll have to win on Minnesota's home floor again.

    Ogwumike doesn't enjoy that storyline, even though it finished with a storybook ending for the Sparks last season.

    ''No disrespect to that question, but I'm really tired of that question,'' Ogwumike said. ''This year is this year. No disrespect at all. It's just like the 100th time I've heard it. This year is a different year, and I know it's the same and I know that's what everyone here wants to talk about it, but it's a different year.''

    Facing an end to their season, the Lynx were aggressive from the start, grabbing a lot of loose balls and dominating the glass. They trailed 10-8 before scoring 11 straight points in the first quarter.

    The Lynx, who never led in Game 3, built as much as a 19-point lead in the third quarter. The Sparks rallied, but could never get closer than eight points late in the fourth quarter.

    ''I just love the way we competed for 40 minutes,'' said Moore. ''Everybody was really locked in and trying to be the aggressor the whole time. We didn't play a perfect game, but did enough to beat a really good Sparks team on the road.''

    In the first quarter, Lynx point guard Lindsey Whalen used her arm in a chopping motion to foul Sims in transition. Whalen was called for a common foul but it was reviewed and upgraded to a Flagrant 1. Sims stayed down on the floor but was fine and would stay in the game. Still, that physical play seemed to set the tone for the Lynx, who were a different team than in a 75-64 loss two days earlier.

    ''That was the beginning of the game,'' Sims said. ''It's over now. Our mindset is focused on getting better and concentrating on Game 5.''

    Sims declined not to talk about that play, but it was clear it energized the Lynx.

    ''Each team has the mindset that you don't want to give your opponent anything easy,'' Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. ''It's kind of interesting, Magic (Johnson) is sitting there and I suspect he was thinking of when that was just a foul. Not review, flagrant, just a foul. It was a playoff foul. We have this new term of unnecessary. Well that's kind of subjective. We thought it was necessary that she not get the layup off.

    ''With the new rules and the world we live in, it was deemed unnecessary.''

    PARTY OF FIVE


    The Lynx didn't have a good performance overall from their starters in Game 3 and two of them - Whalen and Seimone Augustus - didn't score. On Sunday, four of the five starters scored in double figures. Moore, Rebekkah Brunson, Fowles and Augustus combined for 65 points and 43 rebounds. Whalen scored four points, but added eight assists.

    FREE THROW DISPARITY

    The Lynx made 19 of 30 free throws while the Sparks shot just 16 and made 12.

    RAINING ON THE 3-POINT PARADE


    The Sparks missed 17 of 22 3-point attempts. Four of the five starters missed all of their 3-pointers. Alana Beard, Ogwumike, Parker and Chelsea Gray were a combined 0-for-12.

    Flying the friendly skies?

    The Sparks and Lynx are on the same flight from Los Angeles to Minnesota on Monday.

    TIP-INS


    Actor Anthony Anderson, actress Vivica A. Fox, former WNBA player Tina Thompson and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti were at the game. ... The Sparks went into their locker room during the national anthem in silent protest for the fourth consecutive game.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #737
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    SERIES
    SCHEDULE

    Game 1
    LAS @ MIN
    LAS 85, MIN 84
    LAS Leads 1-0

    Game 2
    LAS @ MIN
    MIN 70, LAS 68
    Series Tied 1-1

    Game 3
    MIN @ LAS
    LAS 75, MIN 64
    LAS leads 2-1

    Game 4
    MIN @ LAS
    MIN 80, LAS 69
    Series Tied 2-2

    Game 5
    LAS @ MIN
    Oct. 4
    8 PM ET, ESPN
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #738
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    Preview: Sparks (26-8) at Lynx (27-7)
    Date: October 04, 2017 8:00 PM EDT

    MINNEAPOLIS -- After months of games -- hundreds of them -- and thousands of points scored, it all comes down to this.

    Again.

    The Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks will end the 2017 season on Wednesday night in the same way and in the same city as they did in 2016, with one of them holding a trophy. After last year's high drama, when the Sparks came to Minneapolis and won the WNBA title on a last-second shot in Game 5, it seemed almost inevitable that the four previous contests would lead us to this moment.

    After Tuesday's practices at Williams Arena, on the University of Minnesota campus, it was noted that in their last dozen regular season meetings, the Lynx and Sparks are tied in points, 908 to 908. It's a trend that surely won't continue in the season finale.

    "I don't think this is going to end in a draw," joked Sparks coach Brian Agler on Tuesday. "That number is very interesting, but we don't give it much thought because it's one of those deals. These are both very good teams, they compete hard against each other, and ... to this point it's been back and forth. Both teams have had their share of success."

    Indeed, both teams have gone 1-1 on the other's court to get us to this point. It appeared the Sparks would have their way in the series after taking a 26-point lead in the opening quarter of Game 1. After beating Minnesota by double digits in Game 3, Los Angeles missed a chance to clinch at home when the Lynx dominated Game 4 start to finish, sending the series back to Minnesota. If the home team is feeling the pressure, with a deafening sellout crowd expected on hand, the Lynx aren't showing it.

    "I'm actually relaxed. I think I was more jittery before Game 4 because I knew what was at stake, but I'm more relaxed this time around," Minnesota forward and reigning league MVP Sylvia Fowles said. "I'm comfortable with what the coach is putting us in and what we have to get done. I'm very confident that we can actually go out there and do it."

    Although the Lynx coach admitted that when teams are this familiar with one another, there's less coaching that goes into a winner-take-all meeting.

    "We told them Game 5 is time for the players. Coaches get out of the way. This is about players making plays. Recognizing your opportunities. Recognizing those moments that you can take advantage of your defender," Cheryl Reeve said. "At this point the plays are what they are, it's about what you can do out of those plays. It's the little things you're willing to do within a play, to keep playing and obviously the hustle plays on the glass. That's what it's about."

    Wednesday's winner will become just the second franchise in WNBA history to win the title four times. The Sparks were previously league champs in 2001, 2002 and 2016 while Minnesota captured titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #739
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    Cheat Sheet - WNBA Finals

    (1) Minnesota vs. (2) Los Angeles

    Best-of-Five (2-2-1 Format)

    Game 1 – Sunday, Sept. 24
    Game 2 – Tuesday, Sept. 26
    Game 3 – Friday, Sept. 29
    Game 4 – Sunday, Oct. 1
    Game 5 – Wednesday, Oct. 4

    Series Price – per BookMaker.eu

    Minnesota -160
    Los Angeles +140

    Betting Notes - Minnesota

    -- Minnesota swept Washington 3-0 in the semifinals, winning all three games by double digits. The Lynx went 2-1 against the spread in the series.

    -- Including the playoffs, the Lynx have won six straight games by 10-plus points and they’ve covered the number in four of those games.

    -- The ‘over’ went 2-1 in the semifinals.

    -- Minnesota has gone 17-2 SU and 9-10 ATS at the Xcel Energy Center this season while the ‘under’ produced a 10-9 record.

    -- The Lynx were 13-5 SU and 11-7 ATS on the road this season.

    -- The ‘under’ has gone 6-1 in the last seven away games for Minnesota.

    Betting Notes – Los Angeles

    -- Los Angeles advanced to the WNBA Finals with a three-game sweep over Phoenix in the semifinals.

    -- The Sparks went 2-1 versus the number and only failed to cover Game 3 as they nipped the Mercury 89-87 as 4 ½-point road favorites.

    -- Los Angeles will bring a 10-game winning streak into the finals and the club has gone 9-1 ATS during this run while the ‘under’ is 7-3 over this span.

    -- The Sparks went 18-1 SU and 14-5 ATS at home this season.

    -- Los Angeles went 11-9 SU and 10-8 ATS away from home this season.

    -- Similar to Minnesota, the ‘under’ has been a solid wager for L.A. on the road lately with a 5-2 mark in its last seven.

    2017 Regular Season Encounters

    July 6 – Minnesota 88 (-6.5) vs. Los Angeles 77 (Under 166.5)

    August 11 - Los Angeles 70 (+5.5) at Minnesota 64 (Under 161.5)

    August 27 – Los Angeles 78 (-2.5) vs. Minnesota 67 (Under 155.5)

    2016 WNBA Finals

    Game 1 – Los Angeles 78 (+6.5) at Minnesota 76 (Under 161)

    Game 2 – Minnesota 79 (-7) vs. Los Angeles 60 (Under 159)

    Game 3 – Los Angeles 92 (+1) vs. Minnesota 75 (Over 159.5)

    Game 4 – Minnesota 85 (+1) at Los Angeles 79 (Over 160)

    Game 5 – Los Angeles 77 (+5.5) at Minnesota 76 (Under 156.5)

    WNBA Finals History – 1997-2016

    -- The league went to a best-of-five format during the 2005 season. In the 12 series, we’ve seen five sweeps (3-0), four matchups go to a decisive Game 7 and three series end in four games (3-1).

    -- The Sparks have won the WNBA Championship three times, including last year’s victory over Minnesota.

    -- The previous title for the Sparks came in 20012 when the franchise pulled off the rare repeat.

    -- Los Angeles failed to three-peat in 2003 as it was defeated by the now defunct Detroit Shock.

    -- Since the 2011 season, Minnesota has won three championships and finished runner-up twice. The victories included two sweeps.

    -- The Lynx have alternated titles the last six years and if that trend continues, they’ll be champions this seasons.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #740
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    WNBA
    Dunkel

    Wednesday, October 4


    Los Angeles @ Minnesota

    Game 671-672
    October 4, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Los Angeles
    119.042
    Minnesota
    124.867
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Minnesota
    by 6
    155
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Minnesota
    by 4 1/2
    152
    Dunkel Pick:
    Minnesota
    (-4 1/2); Over





    WNBA
    Long Sheet

    Wednesday, October 4


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LOS ANGELES (31 - 10) at MINNESOTA (32 - 9) - 10/4/2017, 8:00 PM
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    LOS ANGELES is 13-9 against the spread versus MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons
    MINNESOTA is 12-10 straight up against LOS ANGELES over the last 3 seasons
    15 of 22 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    WNBA

    Wednesday, October 4


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    8:00 PM
    LOS ANGELES vs. MINNESOTA
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Los Angeles's last 7 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
    Los Angeles is 6-16 SU in its last 22 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Minnesota's last 8 games at home
    Minnesota is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #741
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    GAME** *TIME(ET)** *PICK** *UNITS

    LA at MIN** *08:00 PM** *

    LA +5.0 * * *****

    O 154.0 * * *****
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 10-04-2017 at 07:17 PM.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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