8 p.m. Friday at Staples Center ESPN2, 106.1-FM
Hard-fought series becomes a best-of-three
Preview: After two one-possession games, the series shifts to Staples Center. The Lynx are 3-2 all-time in Finals Game 3s, all on the road, but last year they dropped Game 3 to L.A. 92-75. The Lynx are coming off a 70-68 victory at Williams Arena on Tuesday, one secured on Rebekkah Brunson’s steal on G Chelsea Gray’s attempted shot with 3.9 seconds left. Four of the past seven Finals games between the Lynx and Sparks have been one-possession affairs; Tuesday marked the first Lynx victory in those games. The Sparks are 18-1 at home this season, including 16-1 during the regular season.
Players to watch: Lynx C Sylvia Fowles had 13 points and a Finals-record 17 rebounds Tuesday, but she scored just three points after halftime. G Lindsay Whalen had a team-high 14 points, scoring eight of Minnesota’s first 11 points. Maya Moore, who had 27 points in Game 1, had 13 on 4-for-10 shooting. Sparks F Candace Parker and C Nneka Ogwumike combined to go 0-for-11 with three points as the Sparks fell behind by 19 at halftime Tuesday. But the two were 9-for-14 for 25 points in the second half as the Sparks, down by as many as 20, rallied. Gray (21.0 average in the Finals) has essentially decided both games, winning Game 1 on a 14-foot jumper with 2.0 seconds left.
Numbers: In seven Finals games over the last two seasons, the combined score is: Lynx 545, Sparks 539. … The Lynx are 121-0 overall in games they have led by 20 or more points, including playoffs. That includes a 12-0 mark in the postseason. … After two games and 307 points, there have been a combined 31 bench points.