Lynx Outlast Sparks, Win Fourth WNBA Championship

The Minnesota Lynx have won their 4th WNBA Championship in franchise history on Wednesday night. Sylvia Fowles had 17 points and broke her own WNBA finals record by grabbing 20 rebounds to lead the Lynx to their fourth championship in seven years with an 85-76 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks in Game 5.

Candace Parker had 19 points, 15 rebounds and five assists for the Sparks, who were looking to become the first repeat champions in 15 years.

Sylvia Fowles won the WNBA Finals MVP and became the first player to capture the regular-season and Finals MVP since Lauren Jackson did in 2010.

Q. Sylvia, what was your attitude, 20 rebounds, and like they said out there, getting the closing rebound, right? What was the attitude of just imposing your will tonight?

SYLVIA FOWLES: If I didn’t do anything else, I just wanted to make it my business to make sure I just go out there and rebound, and that was my downfall last year. Like I said, I fell on the court, that haunted me for a long time after Game 5 last year. I just wanted to come in and I wanted to show my presence, and if that was rebounding, then rebounding it was.

 

Q. Lindsay, this was another kind of hard-fought battle all the way to the end. Just to get back up here for your fourth time, what are the overall emotions that you’re feeling right now?

LINDSAY WHALEN: Yeah, I think — ooh, I think this group more than anything just — we stuck it together. We stuck throughout thick and thin all season, and this game, thick and thin. There were some runs. They cut it obviously to three there with a couple of our turnovers at the end, but we didn’t panic. You know, and like Coach said, at a certain point, players make plays, and Maya made that runner at the free-throw line, which is why she’s Maya Moore, which is also why we like her on our team. So I think every time you do this, it just gets a little bit more special because it gets a little harder and it gets a little more meaningful because you know it’s not easy, you know it’s not something that we try to take for granted ever, and we’ve now been on this journey together since 2010, but 2011 was our first ring, and every year since then it gets a little tougher. But we keep coming back, and that’s just a testament to our organization, to our coach, and to everybody on this team is that we keep fighting, we keep coming back.

Q. Maya, it looked like you survived a little bit of a cold stretch there in the third quarter, and you looked a little bit frustrated. What were your feelings there, and take us through that last shot that you hit after they had made the 9-0 run?

MAYA MOORE: I think there were some moments in the third where frustration was more defensively for me of just wanting to secure some of those rebounds and just make sure that we didn’t give them offense off of our offense. I think we ultimately came back in the third, but I never quit. I never think that I’m out of it. I’m always trying to find the next way I can help my team, whether that’s setting a screen or cutting hard and just always believing the next opportunity is one to take. Just happy it came at a good time for that shot and all the other ways I could help. That’s just what I was trying to do.

Q. Maya, can you try and put into context where this team stands in terms of WNBA history as a franchise?

MAYA MOORE: You know, as a longtime WNBA fan since I was eight years old, I’ve been die hard, watching the Comets, some classic battles, New York, then Detroit had their run, watching the Storm, and then I get a chance to be a part of just an unbelievable group of players over these last few years. It’s just hard to compare, obviously, because when times change and talent gets better and we have more opportunities and things now to take advantage of, but I don’t know if you’re going to get a more deep, committed, selfless group that we have right now