LOS ANGELES -- For their first 11 years, the face of the Los Angeles Sparks was Lisa Leslie. Three-time WNBA MVP. Eight-time All-Star. Two league championships.Leslie retired in 2009, a year after the Sparks took Candace Parker as the No. 1 pick in the draft.Parker was expected to pick up where Leslie left off. Individually, the former Tennessee star certainly did. Shes been rookie of the year, a two-time MVP and MVP of the All-Star game.But she has come up short in delivering the franchises first WNBA title since the Leslie-led Sparks won in 2001 and 02.Parker can change all that Sunday night. The Sparks take a 2-1 lead over the Minnesota Lynx into Game 4 of the WNBA Finals.A victory gives Los Angeles its third title in franchise history. A loss sends the best-of-five series back to Minnesota and allows the Lynx another chance at winning win their record-tying fourth championship.We cant expect them to lay down and just give it to us, Parker said Saturday after practice. Tomorrow is special, but so is this playoff run.The leagues 20th anniversary season is concluding with a matchup featuring two teams with a combined winning percentage of .794, highest in WNBA Finals history.The Lynx, winners of three of the last five WNBA titles, have been down before in this series.The Sparks won Game 1 on the road by two points.Minnesota responded with a 19-point win in Game 2 before the series shifted to the West Coast.Behind Parker and current league MVP Nneka Ogwumike, the Sparks raced to an early 22-point lead and took Game 3, 92-75.The things that we can control are our focus, our intensity and our will to win, said Alana Beard, whose last-second jumper clinched Game 1.The Lynx cut the Sparks lead to eight points but never led in Fridays loss.You cant win a WNBA Finals back on our heels like that. We never want to do that again, Lynx veteran Maya Moore said. We dont want to take that long to respond. Its something that has been on the forefront of our minds. The start of Game 4 will be intense.Minnesotas Rebekkah Brunson, who scored 14 points Friday, could become the leagues first five-time champion. She won her first title with Sacramento in 2005.All of the small things weve done to get here, we just need to continue to do those, she said.The Sparks forced 13 turnovers that generated 24 points in Game 3.The 13 turnovers isnt a crazy amount of turnovers. Its a crazy amount of points off of them, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. It was where we turned it over, around the 3-point line where its hard to build your transition defense. We need to get a better understanding of what its going to take to be successful in the WNBA Finals.The Lynx has little time to figure it out.Parker has had nothing but time while waiting to make the first WNBA Finals appearance of her long career. The rest of her teammates, with the exception of little-used reserve Ann Wauters, have never been this far before either.Were going to bring the same energy, the same competitiveness, the same drive and will that we did in Game 3, Sparks guard Kristi Toliver said, and hopefully well have no regrets. Dale Murphy Jersey . Walcott is available for Saturdays home match against Southampton as Arsenal looks to extend its two-point lead at the top of the Premier League. The Gunners are currently the second highest scorers in the league but Wenger insists Walcott will add something extra to his team. Ender Inciarte Jersey .C. at the helm of the top team in the Eastern Conference. His tenure as the GM in Vancouver was all too brief. Though he led the Canucks to what was then a franchise record-shattering campaign in just his second season, Nonis was gone and replaced one year later. http://www.custombravesjersey.com/custom-babe-ruth-jersey-large-77z.html . Toronto has dropped games to Indiana and Miami since a five-game winning streak and closed out a three-game road trip at 1-2. Hank Aaron Jersey . The Olympic champion curler and TSN curling analyst immediately went online to look at the Halls long list of honoured members. Thats when the enormity of the honour sunk in. Satchel Paige Jersey . Radwanska, making her debut in the Seoul tournament, hit eight aces in a match that lasted 1 hour, 4 minutes at Olympic Park tennis stadium. "It was definitely a very good match -- I was playing really good tennis," Radwanska said. TORONTO -- Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred supports changing the rule that expands active rosters from 25 to 40 each Sept. 1.Managers have expressed concern that the rule changes late in the season, allowing multiple pitching changes for right-lefty matchups. The issue is part of negotiations for a labor contract to replace the deal that expires Dec. 2.Controversy has arisen because of changes that have taken place in the game and the way the game is played, particularly the use of so many relievers, Manfred said Tuesday before the AL wild-card game. I do believe in a reform of those rules, again protecting the benefits that are available to players, Im not looking to take away service time or anything like that, but I do think it would make sense to get to a situation where we played out September games closer to the rules that we play with the rest of the year.I dont think 18 pitchers in a game is a good thing, Manfred added.Manfred hopes a new labor contract is in place before the start of the offseason business cycle. Teams have until the fifth day after the World Series to make qualifying offers to their former players who became free agents, and free agents can negotiate terms with all teams starting the following day.On other topics:ExpansionWhile again saying stadium issues in Oakland and Tampa Bay have to be solved before expansion beyond 30 teams would be considered, Manfred acknowledged in terms of scheduling, 32 teams is a nice number for us, Manfred said.FernandezAsked about the idea of naming an award in honor of late Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, Manfred said the shock of the situation has occupied baseball so far.I understand theres some strrong feelings on this topic, he said.dddddddddddd Its not the right time of year to be thinking about additional awards. But its an issue well talk about during the offseason. Obviously, we recognize the significance of Jose in terms of his importance to the Marlins franchise, and the fact that he was symbolic of the next generation of players.Home RunsManfred said testing has not revealed any difference in the ball that contributed to an increase in home runs.We are absolutely convinced this issue is not driven by a difference in the baseball, he said. My own view is the spike is related to the way the game is being played now, the way we are training hitters from a very young age. We have not been able to find any external cause that explains the spike in home runs.CubaBecause of the World Baseball Classic, no major league team is likely to play at exhibition game in Cuba during spring training.Wild cardManfred supports the one-and-done wild-card playoffs, now in their fifth year.We just had a final day of the season where you had all sorts of meaningful baseball games, and most of those meaningful games were related to the fact that we had a second wild card, he said. In terms of the games themselves, I understand that baseball doesnt usually have one-game knockouts, but I do believe these two games get our playoff season off to a really exciting start. Ive gone to the wild card games, each of them, the last two seasons. The atmospheres in the ballparks are phenomenal, and I think it gives a great jump start to our playoff season. ' ' '
jj009, 31.12.2019 03:23