Sparks coach Carol Ross said she, her staff and her players had a lot of work to do between Thursday's 94-77 blowout loss to the Lynx and the rematch on Sunday in L.A.
In her postgame comments, Ross said her defense needed to get a stop on every Lynx trip down the court "because we were completely anemic on the offensive end."
Starting point guard Kristi Toliver might have been the best example of that.
Toliver was L.A.'s leading scorer, averaging just over 17 points during the regular season, and 26 in the Spark's two-game sweep of San Antonio in the Western Conterence semifinals.
But against the Lynx, Toliver had two points through three quarters. She had 10 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 12, but that was too late. The Sparks trailed 66-53 going into the final quarter.,
"It certainly was not her night," Ross said. "If it's her night, she is a lot of fun to watch on the offensive end. She was not her typical self. Defensively, [the Lynx] been game-planning for her throughout the season. I don't they surprised us with anything. We just didn't respond well to it.
"As coaches clearly we did not help very much. We didn't do a good job all over. My job is to make sure they are ready to go, and that I have an answer for every problem, and it wasn't there," Ross said. "I need to take a lot of responsibility for that.
We have a lot of work to do in short amount of time."
Sunday's game, obviously, is an elimination game for L.A. if the Sparks stumble again.
"[The Lynx] are the defending champions," Ross said. "And they didn’t get any worse in offseason. They actually got better. There is no surprise. We played them four times. They come at you in waves and they've got the ability and talent to bring offense from a variety of different places . They can weather a player or two [not] having a 'A' game. They have other people who can step up and have a big night."