Lynx even series with little things

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 1: Sylvia Fowles
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 1: Sylvia Fowles /

The 2017 WNBA Finals are headed for a Game 5 at Williams Arena with everything on the line for the Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks. The Lynx dominated the battle on the glass and got to the free throw line en route to an 80-69 win at Staples Center on Sunday.

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Takeaways from Game 4:

Rebekkah Brunson was everywhere

The four-time WNBA champion lived at the free throw line on Sunday night, shooting 10-for-13. To get there that many times, Brunson was active early on as a cutter — first around Fowles or Augustus posting up, then finding an open spot as Lindsay Whalen drove toward the paint. Brunson also pulled down four of Minnesota’s 16 offensive rebounds and continued to hold her ground against one of the most versatile forwards in basketball.

Maya Moore was, too

Maya Moore made her presence felt as a helper on Sunday night. She got into the lane several times to clog up rolls or cuts by the Sparks while still recovering in time to close out on Alana Beard most of the time.

Fowles cleaning up

The 2017 MVP left a mark on Game 4 with her efforts to come across the lane to help out at the rim. Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury couldn’t win against the Sparks’ dribble penetration. Gray and Sims would carve them up or Nneka Ogwumike would make them pay from deep, as she did with a dagger three in Game 2 of the semis.Ogwumike starting things off in Game 3 with a long two, and maybe a few drive-and-kick jumpers for her would loosen things up more in Game 5.

Fowles cleaned up on the offensive glass just as she did as a rim protector on Sunday. She grabbed 6 offensive rebounds, a number that doesn’t account for the times she drew a foul or kept a ball alive:

Early O for Seimone

Seimone Augustus, scoreless on Friday, scored on some early offense opportunities for the Lynx. You can see there that she kept her defender guessing before using a ball screen in transition, flew around two screens for a three and got into the post against a shorter defender in Riquna Williams.

Dealing with ball pressure

Lindsay Whalen looks comfortable in picking her spots as this series has worn on. She calls Fowles up to set this high ball screen patiently waits to see how Sims navigates the screen. Whalen walks Sims down before unleashing a quick crossover to reject the screen and find Fowles on a hard roll to the basket.

The Lynx played hard and executed on the road to set up a winner-take-all Game 5 in Minnesota on Wednesday night. Catch the game at 8 PM EST on ESPN.