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  #726  
Old 09-14-2017, 11:03 AM
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

WAS at MIN 08:00 PM

MIN -10.0

U 164.0


PHO at LA 10:00 PM

LA -9.5

U 155.5
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  #727  
Old 09-15-2017, 01:06 AM
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WNBA Playoff Capsules
September 15, 2017


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Newly crowned MVP Sylvia Fowles scored 25 points to lead the Minnesota Lynx to a 93-83 victory over the Washington Mystics in Game 2 of the WNBA semifinals Thursday night.

Fowles made 12 of 16 shots and the Lynx shot 51 percent from the floor to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Maya Moore had 22 points and five assists, and Rebekkah Brunson added 11 points and 10 rebounds in a back-and-forth game at the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena.

Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver each scored 25 points for the Mystics. Washington led by two with five minutes to go, but was outscored 20-8 the rest of the way.

Game 3 is Sunday in Washington.

Fowles was given the MVP trophy about two hours before tipoff, accepting it in a tearful press conference as she reflected on 10 years in the league.

SPARKS 86, MERCURY 72

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Candace Parker had 24 points and 13 rebounds - showing no effects of an ankle injury - to help Los Angeles beat Phoenix in Game 2 of the WNBA semifinal series.

Parker injured her ankle in the warmups before the Sparks' Game 1 victory, but she still played in that game and returned to her usual form in Game 2 the Pyramid.

The defending champion Sparks have won nine games in a row and can sweep the best-of-five series Sunday in Arizona.

Nneka Ogwumike added 18 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles. Diana Taurasi led Phoenix with 19 points, and Brittney Griner had 16 points.
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  #728  
Old 09-15-2017, 01:17 AM
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SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
3:00 PM Minnesota Lynx Washington Mystics Verizon Center
5:00 PM Los Angeles Sparks Phoenix Mercury Talking Stick Resort Arena

SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
8:00 PM Minnesota Lynx Washington Mystics Verizon Center
10:00 PM Los Angeles Sparks Phoenix Mercury Talking Stick Resort Arena

SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 2017

Time (ET) Away Home Site
8:00 PM Washington Mystics Minnesota Lynx Xcel Energy Center
10:00 PM Phoenix Mercury Los Angeles Sparks Staples Center

Updated Fri Sep 15 2:04 AM EDT


************************


wnba playoff record:

09/14/2017 1-2-1 33.33% -6.00
09/12/2017 3-1-0 75.00% +950
09/10/2017 0-4-0 0.00% -2200
09/06/2017 3-1-0 75.00% +950

totals...........7 - 8 - 1.........46.66%.....-9.00
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  #729  
Old 09-17-2017, 11:22 PM
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WNBA Playoff Capsules
September 17, 2017


PHOENIX (AP) Candace Parker's driving layup with 2.9 seconds to play gave the Los Angeles Sparks an 89-87 win and three-game sweep of the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA semifinals Sunday.

Parker finished with 21 points and 11 assists.

Brittney Griner missed a shot as time expired and the Sparks celebrated with shouts and embraces in front of their bench.

Odyssey Sims scored 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Chelsea Gray added 14 points for the defending champion Sparks, who advanced to their second straight WNBA Finals and fifth overall. They will face Minnesota in a rematch of last year's championship, after the Lynx completed a sweep of Washington earlier Sunday.

Diana Taurasi had tied the game at 87 with a 3-pointer from the wing with 10.8 seconds left.

LYNX 81, MYSTICS 70

WASHINGTON (AP) - Maya Moore scored 21 points, Sylvia Fowles added 17 points and 14 rebounds, and the Lynx completed a sweep of the Mystics in the best-of-three WNBA semifinals.

Seimone Augustus added 18 points as Minnesota secured its third consecutive finals appearance and sixth in seven seasons. The Lynx will attempt to win their fourth WNBA title in seven years.

Elena Delle Donne scored 15 points to lead the Mystics, who exit the playoffs after reaching the semifinals for the first time since 2002.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt added 14 points and Kristi Tolliver had 13 for Washington, which forced the Lynx into a series-high 13 turnovers.

But the Mystics scored only 31 second-half points in their sixth loss in as many games against Minnesota in 2017, including regular season and playoffs.
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  #730  
Old 09-17-2017, 11:30 PM
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wnba playoff record:

09/17/2017 2-0-0 100.00% +10.00
09/14/2017 1-2-1 33.33% -6.00
09/12/2017 3-1-0 75.00% +950
09/10/2017 0-4-0 0.00% -2200
09/06/2017 3-1-0 75.00% +950

totals...........9 - 8 - 1.........52.94%.....+1.00
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  #731  
Old 09-20-2017, 11:35 PM
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Cheat Sheet - WNBA Finals

(1) Minnesota vs. (2) Los Angeles

Best-of-Five (2-2-1 Format)

Game 1 – Sunday, Sept. 24
Game 2 – Tuesday, Sept. 26
Game 3 – Friday, Sept. 29
Game 4 – Sunday, Oct. 1
Game 5 – Wednesday, Oct. 4

Series Price – per Bookmaker.eu

Minnesota -160
Los Angeles +140

Betting Notes - Minnesota

-- Minnesota swept Washington 3-0 in the semifinals, winning all three games by double digits. The Lynx went 2-1 against the spread in the series.

-- Including the playoffs, the Lynx have won six straight games by 10-plus points and they’ve covered the number in four of those games.

-- The ‘over’ went 2-1 in the semifinals.

-- Minnesota has gone 17-2 SU and 9-10 ATS at the Xcel Energy Center this season while the ‘under’ produced a 10-9 record.

-- The Lynx were 13-5 SU and 11-7 ATS on the road this season.

-- The ‘under’ has gone 6-1 in the last seven away games for Minnesota.

Betting Notes – Los Angeles

-- Los Angeles advanced to the WNBA Finals with a three-game sweep over Phoenix in the semifinals.

-- The Sparks went 2-1 versus the number and only failed to cover Game 3 as they nipped the Mercury 89-87 as 4 -point road favorites.

-- Los Angeles will bring a 10-game winning streak into the finals and the club has gone 9-1 ATS during this run while the ‘under’ is 7-3 over this span.

-- The Sparks went 18-1 SU and 14-5 ATS at home this season.

-- Los Angeles went 11-9 SU and 10-8 ATS away from home this season.

-- Similar to Minnesota, the ‘under’ has been a solid wager for L.A. on the road lately with a 5-2 mark in its last seven.

2017 Regular Season Encounters

July 6 – Minnesota 88 (-6.5) vs. Los Angeles 77 (Under 166.5)

August 11 - Los Angeles 70 (+5.5) at Minnesota 64 (Under 161.5)

August 27 – Los Angeles 78 (-2.5) vs. Minnesota 67 (Under 155.5)

2016 WNBA Finals

Game 1 – Los Angeles 78 (+6.5) at Minnesota 76 (Under 161)

Game 2 – Minnesota 79 (-7) vs. Los Angeles 60 (Under 159)

Game 3 – Los Angeles 92 (+1) vs. Minnesota 75 (Over 159.5)

Game 4 – Minnesota 85 (+1) at Los Angeles 79 (Over 160)

Game 5 – Los Angeles 77 (+5.5) at Minnesota 76 (Under 156.5)

WNBA Finals History – 1997-2016

-- The league went to a best-of-five format during the 2005 season. In the 12 series, we’ve seen five sweeps (3-0), four matchups go to a decisive Game 7 and three series end in four games (3-1).

-- The Sparks have won the WNBA Championship three times, including last year’s victory over Minnesota.

-- The previous title for the Sparks came in 20012 when the franchise pulled off the rare repeat.

-- Los Angeles failed to three-peat in 2003 as it was defeated by the now defunct Detroit Shock.

-- Since the 2011 season, Minnesota has won three championships and finished runner-up twice. The victories included two sweeps.

-- The Lynx have alternated titles the last six years and if that trend continues, they’ll be champions this seasons.
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  #732  
Old 09-24-2017, 12:07 AM
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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

LA at MIN 03:30 PM

LA +4.5

U 158.0
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  #733  
Old 09-24-2017, 10:12 PM
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Gray lifts Sparks to win in WNBA Finals
September 24, 2017


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Chelsea Gray got a sliver of daylight and let a 14-foot jumper fly - Game 1 of the WNBA Finals and what would have been a dubious piece of history for the Los Angeles Sparks hanging in the balance.

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

Gray's pull-up jumper with 2 seconds delivered an 85-84 victory on Sunday over the Minnesota Lynx in the kind of edge-of-your-seat finish that no one saw coming when the Sparks led 28-2 in the first quarter.

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

Gray scored a career-high 27 points and Candace Parker added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Sparks, who joined their NFL brethren by sitting out the national anthem. The Sparks led 28-2 in the first quarter and 78-66 with five minutes to play, but gave it all back after a charge from the Lynx.

Maya Moore scored 27 points and Sylvia Fowles had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Lynx, who roared back from that 26-point hole to take an 84-83 lead with 6.5 seconds to play. A victory would have been the largest playoff comeback in WNBA history, but Minnesota could not get one last stop.

''I know everyone is going to talk about what a great comeback it was, but that's not the world we live in,'' Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. ''That means absolutely nothing to us.''

The Sparks beat the Lynx in a five-game thriller last season, and Game 1 had plenty of fireworks even before the opening tip.

With the Lynx locking arms in solidarity, the Sparks quickly left the Williams Arena court just before ''The Star Spangled Banner'' began to play, joining hundreds of NFL players in opposition to President Donald Trump's call for NFL owners to fire players who do not stand for the national anthem. As soon as the song was over, they returned to a chorus of boos and then made another emphatic statement once the game started.

They led 12-0 when Gray knocked down a 3-pointer and pushed the lead to 28-2 later in the first quarter, a staggering level of dominance against a star-studded Lynx team playing in the finals for the sixth time in seven seasons. The Lynx did not grab a rebound in the entire first quarter and it took them more than eight minutes to get Fowles, the league MVP, her first shot.

The Lynx started chipping away, trimming the deficit to 10 points at halftime and getting Parker, Nneka Ogwumike and Alana Beard into foul trouble. Moore's defense in the fourth jumpstarted a 12-0 burst that she capped with a steal and layup to tie the game at 78 and Seimone Augustus hit a 3 for an 82-81 lead with 50 seconds to go.

''This is the finals. This is the Minnesota Lynx,'' Ogwumike said. ''They are going to punch back and we have to be able to respond to that better.''

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. She used an escape dribble to create a little daylight, and her high-arching jumper splashed through.

Odyssey Sims scored 16 points and Ogwumike had 11 points and six rebounds for Los Angeles.

Augustus finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Minnesota.

''We gave ourselves a chance to win the game, but there's no question that the championship isn't going to be won with that kind of stretch that we allowed in that first quarter,'' Moore said.

SPARKS' STATEMENT

Ogwumike said the Sparks were inspired to sit out the anthem by the Pittsburgh Steelers and coach Mike Tomlin, who did the same in Chicago on Sunday. The Sparks said they were not disrespecting the country or the flag, but standing in solidarity with their NFL counterparts.

''Some people may want to kneel, some people may not want to,'' she said. ''We want to show everyone that a team does as a team does. We wanted to stand in solidarity together and stand by our mission and that's unity and togetherness. We felt that we wanted to also show our respect for other people who understand how important it is for us to be together at this time.''

UP NEXT

Game 2 is on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.
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  #734  
Old 09-24-2017, 10:15 PM
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2017 WNBA FINALS Record:

DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

09/24/2017 1-1-0 50.00% -0.50


SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 26, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
8:00 PM Los Angeles Sparks Minnesota Lynx Williams Arena

SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
9:00 PM Minnesota Lynx Los Angeles Sparks Staples Center
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  #735  
Old 09-26-2017, 12:36 AM
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Lynx look for better start in Game 2 vs. Sparks

Williams Arena, the 89-year-old on-campus home of University of Minnesota basketball, is affectionately known by locals as "The Barn" for its resemblance, from the outside, to a place you store hay and livestock.

With Target Center in Minneapolis being massively renovated, and Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul occupied with pro hockey, the Barn is the temporary home of the WNBA Finals.

Game 2 of the series pitting the Los Angeles Sparks and host Minnesota Lynx will be played on Tuesday night.

On Sunday, the Lynx rallied from a large deficit before falling to the Sparks 85-84 in Game 1 of the best-of-five series.

On Monday, The Barn may have felt like a kind of woodshed for Lynx players, as Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve was still steaming mad about her team's first -quarter no-show in the opener.

"People say you battled, but that's what the hell you're supposed to do," Reeve said, recalling the Sparks' 12-0 run to start the game, and the 26-point lead opened up by the visitors before Minnesota rallied.

"You're competing for a championship. You're supposed to battle. So what is the good of that? We did what we were supposed to do in the 32 minutes. You guys can focus on that if you want to. That's Loserville, that's what that is."

That the Lynx held a lead with five seconds to play is a testament to their resolve, after an opening 10 minutes where they hit one of their first 11 shots and had zero rebounds.

But the end result was a loss, at home, and Los Angeles has an opportunity to clinch the WNBA crown on its home court, with the series headed west for Games 3 and 4.

The Sparks are certainly not resting on their Game 1 win, and practiced on Monday with new-found resolve.

"We played pretty good basketball, but we played five minutes of great basketball," Los Angeles forward Candace Parker said. "We won two quarters and we lost two quarters. I feel like we can build off of that, but we have to learn to adjust throughout the game, not going back after Game 1 and going back to the film and adjusting, but as individuals on the court."

The opening game's frantic finish, in which the lead changed hands four times in the final minute before Chelsea Gray's game-winning shot with two seconds left, was apparently great for the TV audience.

On Monday, WNBA officials noted that the ABC broadcast drew an overnight rating of 0.6, which is the best mark ever for a series opener. It is a 20 percent increase from last year's ratings when the same two teams met in the finals.

"It was a very emotional game," Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike said. "I would say anything that could have happened in the game happened. I thought it was great for viewership, of course, and the fans and for the competition. This is the Finals championship round and you're going to see games like that."
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  #736  
Old 09-26-2017, 12:40 AM
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Reeve blasts her Lynx after Game 1 loss
September 25, 2017


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The last thing Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve wanted to talk about was a moral victory.

She had no time for pats on the back after her team came back from 26 points down in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. In the end, the Lynx are down 1-0 to the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks in the best-of-five series because they fell behind 28-2 in the first quarter on their home floor.

The fiery coach blasted her team on Monday, wondering aloud if they are taking for granted a sixth trip to the finals in the last seven years and saying anyone who suggested the Lynx should derive encouragement from their comeback resides in ''Loserville.''

''It's mind-boggling for a team that's been here however many times,'' Reeve said. ''Maybe it's old hat for them. Maybe this is something they're just softened to.''

It was likely a calculated move on Reeve's part, a salvo that will turn up the heat on a veteran-laden team that did not grab a single rebound in the first quarter of the opener. A wake-up call for a team nobody expected to need one.

''It just suggests to me that either being in the finals is something they've taken for granted,'' Reeve said. ''It suggests to me that maybe we're playing against a team that wants to win maybe more than us. Those are answers that I'm looking for to those questions that I will get today when we meet with our team.''

After sitting out the national anthem, the Sparks roared out of the gates in the first eight minutes, leading 12-0 and 28-2 before Minnesota even knew the game had started.

The Lynx turned things around when Maya Moore moved from small forward to power forward and guard Jia Perkins took the place of mainstay Rebekkah Brunson. The small lineup created havoc on defense and helped Minnesota wipe out a 12-point deficit with five minutes to play it the game. Moore's layup with 6.5 seconds to go put the Lynx in front, 84-83, but Chelsea Gray hit a 14-foot jumper in the closing seconds to win the game.

''We just have to look at the game as we outplayed them in the first five minutes, and they outplayed us in the last 35,'' Sparks coach Brian Agler said. ''There are a lot of areas we can get better at, we have to get better at and hopefully we will.''

Reeve let loose to the media without her players' knowledge, but there was little disagreement about the embarrassment surrounding the first quarter.

''There's no question that both teams want this series, but we have to show it for 40 minutes-plus,'' Moore said. ''Definitely happy that it's not a one-game series.''

The highly anticipated rematch between the two best teams in the league delivered the best overnight rating (0.6) for a WNBA Finals Game 1 on the ESPN networks, up 20 percent from last year's Game 1. What appeared to be a laugher in the early going turned into a tense, back-and-forth finish.

The Sparks are trying to become the first repeat champions in the league since 2002, and they are not expecting a similar start for Game 2 on Tuesday night.

''We played pretty good basketball, but we played five minutes of great basketball,'' Sparks star Candace Parker said. ''We won two quarters and we lost two quarters. I feel like we can build off of that, but we have to learn to adjust throughout the game, not going back after Game 1 and going back to the film and adjusting, but as individuals on the court.''

Seimone Augustus has felt Reeve's wrath before and did not want to give too much weight to the emotional remarks.

''That's just coach Reeve,'' Augustus said. ''She'll do anything to push our buttons.''

With the prospects of an 0-2 hole staring them right in the face, Reeve clearly felt those buttons needed to be pushed.
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