The Lynx 88-64 win over the L.A. Sparks on Friday night served as revenge for the whooping the Sparks put on the Lynx just a week before. They meet for the third time in 11 games tonight and even head coach Cheryl Reeve failed to admit that the results have produced a rivalry.
She may not, but it certainly has.
Lindsey Whalen took a shot to the jaw on a hard screen during the first possession of the game Friday night and although things never reached the level of an all-out peer six brawl, it was as physical of a game that they have played this season.
The third meeting tonight in Los Angeles should produce more drama for two teams who really don't care for each other too much. If the Lynx are going to win tonight, they are going to have to break a rather frightening trend. In their last 10 games in Los Angeles, the team has lost nine of them. On the flip side, they have won six in a row over the Sparks at Target Center.
Defensively, the Lynx stepped their game up big time in their blowout win on Friday. That same effort will be needed if the squad wants to extend their lead in the Western Conference. Currently the Lynx are two games clear of the Sparks and 1.5 games ahead of Phoenix. After the starters combined for 17 points in the loss, they flipped the script and scored 57 of the 88 points in the win. Whalen was tremendous scoring 20 points, dishing six assists, grabbing five rebounds and picking three steals.
There is nothing like a good sports rivalry when it comes to sports and maybe, just maybe we've got one that is simmering and ready to boil over. If the Lynx are going to prove their championship aspirations, the approach they took last Friday night will at least put them in position. They took the court angry and played with a purpose and it showed in their most dominant and complete performance on both ends of the floor.
The Sparks will counter and make adjustments. It is up to the Lynx to take their gritty effort on the road.