Chelsea Gray takes over as Sparks take Game 1 of WNBA Finals

Getty Images

Getty Images

When it splashed through there may have been a few sighs of relief sprinkled in among those celebratory high fives.

The Los Angeles Sparks are trying to become the first team to repeat as WNBA champions in 15 years.

"I think all athletes dream of that moment", Gray said. "I'm glad it went in".

All five Sparks were in double figures, but Chelsea Gray was sensational, scoring a career-high 27 points and hitting several hard shots in the second half.

The Sparks came out on fire, going up 28-2 in the first quarter to go up by 26 points.

Sylvia Fowles had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the home team. A victory would have been the largest playoff comeback in WNBA history, but Minnesota could not get one last stop. "Let me just say our Commissioner, my colleague and my friend Adam Silver put out a statement yesterday and I want you all to know that I personally believe all of us stand in full support with Adam, our big brother - the National Basketball Association - and our entire enterprise". "That means absolutely nothing to us".

Although the Lynx lost last year's Finals after dropping Game 1, they won a title in 2015 after going down a game to the Indiana Fever. Even before the most important series all year, the Sparks and the Lynx players all chose to show support for the anthem protests that are sweeping professional sports. Toward the end of the game, the Lynx started to wake up.

The Lynx started chipping away, trimming the deficit to 10 points at halftime and getting Parker, Ogwumike and Alana Beard into foul trouble.

Moore's dash to the bucket put the Lynx in front with 6.5 seconds to play, but that was plenty of time for Gray.

On Sunday night, the WNBA's top two teams will battle on the hardwood for a final #Regular Season meeting. The Sparks are attempting to snatch the No. 1 seed from Minnesota with a win tonight, but they're 1.5 games back.

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