MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — No one on the Los Angeles Sparks or Minnesota Lynx really likes to talk about it, but deep down inside most of them knew this is how it was going to end.
The two best teams in the WNBA meeting in the finals again. Ready to go at each other like a year ago in a tense, entertaining and down-to-the-wire finish that ended on a last-second shot in Game 5 to give the Sparks the championship.
“We assumed it would be us two again, with the way they’ve been playing and the way we’ve been playing,” Lynx guard Seimone Augustus said. “It was almost inevitable, like it was going to happen. We’re happy that we do face the Sparks and try to get some redemption from last year.”
Round 2 between the Sparks and Lynx begin Sunday in Minneapolis, and there is so much on the line.
For Los Angeles, it’s a chance to be the first repeat champion in 15 years, a chance for Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike to draw a direct line from them to Lisa Leslie as the Sparks champions from 2001 and 2002.
“It would be historic, especially considering the last team to do it was this team,” Ogwumike said on Saturday. “We’ll see what happens.”
For Minnesota, it’s the chance to soak up a sixth finals appearance in the last seven years. That puts the Lynx in the same sentence as the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Montreal Canadiens and New York Yankees as pro teams to make a run like that. And as the years go by for a Lynx core that has won three championships, each new trip to this stage could be the last.
“I guess we cherish these moments a little bit more,” Augustus said. “Now our window of time is starting to close and people are trying to figure out their next career path in life after basketball. You really do buckle down and think about these moments and cherish the things we’ve done here and the history we’ve made.”
For both franchises, the chance to capture championship No. 4, which would…