Three titles in five years, that qualifies as a Dynasty right? Last night, the Minnesota Lynx ran away from the Indiana Fever in a winner-take-all Game 5. The Lynx made history in the 69-52 win last night, it was the first time they won the title on their home floor.
While the score would indicate that it was a walk in the park for the third time champs, that’s far from the truth. Maya Moore only had five points in this win, yes, just five points. It’s a team sport, Moore didn’t sulk and she didn’t look like she realized her low point total until the post game press conference when she had a look at the box score. That didn’t stop her from playing defense or moving the ball on the offensive end, she would take just eight shots, never forcing the issue as winning was more important than stuffing the stat sheet.
The Indiana Fever have no reason to be ashamed, they made an incredible run. The first half was all about defense as neither team would give ground on the defensive end of the floor. The score at the half was a paltry 27-21, both teams really struggled to find the basket.
The midseason acquisition of Sylvia Fowles paid off last night, the veteran post player had 20 points and 11 rebounds. The second game in the series in which she recorded those numbers, helping her team earn the win and her to receive the Finals MVP award. Rebekkah Brunson showed up as well, she added a double-double as well with 16 points and 14 rebounds. The Lynx defense forced 21 turnovers on the night, proving that defense wins championships while holding the Fever to just 35%.
Minnesota made their move in the middle two quarters of the game, the second and third. Forcing 17 turnovers in that span, which helped spark a bit of offense in a game that didn’t have much of it.
Tamika Catchings led the way for the Fever with 18 points and 11 rebounds, guard Brian January added 13 but it was just too much to overcome. On a night when offense was needed, Indiana could never get on track. There were several turnovers that were self inflicted, which was very uncharacteristic for a veteran team. Still, even in defeat the Fever made the finals in a season where nobody outside of their locker room expected them to come out of the East and they did it.
The “Big 3” for the Lynx in Moore, Seimone Augustus, and Lindsay Whalen didn’t have great games. The trio combined for just 23 points, with Augustus led the way with 16, but they combined to shoot just 10 for 30 from the field. It was an up and down year for the Lynx, as they never seemed to get to that place where they’ve been in the past as that dominant force. Their bench was huge in this game, the Lynx only played three players compared to the Fever’s eight. Yet, the trio of Ana Cruz, Renee Montgomery, and Devereaux Peters won the bench scoring 16-8.
Three wins in five years, the Lynx continue to make history. Maya Moore is in a very hallowed place in professional sports, not just for a WNBA player. In her first five seasons she has now won three WNBA titles, one MVP award and the Rookie of the year award. No one in any other major american sports league (NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL) has had that type of start to their career.
When the WNBA season starts next summer, the Lynx go back to being the hunted. The 2015 WNBA champs will begin their title defense and quest for a fourth title.