Chicago Cubs 0 – Atlanta Braves 4
Highlights: Yu Darvish‘s first home start with the Chicago Cubs went nothing like his previous outing at Wrigley Field. Instead of dominating in a playoff win, he got knocked out in an early-season loss. Anibal Sanchez pitched three-hit ball over six innings, Preston Tucker backed him with a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves spoiled Darvish’s home debut with a 4-0 victory on Friday. The four-time All-Star got tagged for four runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. Darvish (0-1) walked four and struck out four while throwing 105 pitches. Sanchez struck out six and walked one. He has a 1.29 ERA through two starts and three appearances after signing a minor league deal in mid-March.
Chicago White Sox – Minnesota Twins
Deshields, Williams to Sky – The Sky drafted Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams with the third and fourth picks in the WNBA draft Thursday night. The 6-foot-1 DeShields comes with question marks. She transferred from North Carolina to Tennessee after one season, and after declaring her intention to play her final season of eligibility with the Lady Vols, she backed out to turn pro with a Turkish team. Even she has questioned whether she fulfilled her potential in college. DeShields averaged 17.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists in her last season at Tennessee. The Sky then provided the first surprise of the night by taking Williams, a 5-11 forward from Connecticut. It was a curious pick because Sky coach Amber Stocks has stated a desire for length. Stocks passed on 6-6 stretch-four Azura Stevens, also of UConn, whom South Carolina coach Dawn Staley compared to Kevin Durant, to select Williams, whom some observers consider an undersized prospect who may have trouble finding a position at the next level. Williams averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists this past season.
The WNBA Draft was held at the Nike Headquarters in New York City on Thursday, and for a handful of teams, a new era is set to begin. This draft is a deep one, and any team with a glaring need should be able to fill it in the opening round.
Las Vegas Aces: A’Ja Wilson – South Carolina; Indiana Fever: Kelsey Mitchell – Ohio State University; Chicago Sky: Diamond DeShields – Turkey; Chicago Sky: Gabby Williams – UConn; Seattle Storm: Jordin Canada – UCLA; Dallas Wings: Azura Stevens – UConn; Washington Mystics: Ariel Atkins – Texas; Indiana Fever: Victoria Vivians – Mississippi State; Connecticut Sun: Lexie Brown – Duke; New York Liberty: Kia Nurse – UConn; Los Angeles Sparks: Maria Vadeeva – Russia; Phoenix Mercury: Marie Gulich – Oregon State University
Las Vegas Aces: Jamie Nared – Tennessee; Indiana Fever: Stephanie Mavunga – Ohio State University; Atlanta Dream: Monique Billings – UCLA; Atlanta Dream: Kristy Wallace – Baylor; Minnesota Lynx: Ji-Su Park – South Korea; Dallas Wings: Loryn Goodwin – Okhlahoma State; Washington Mystics: Myisha Hines-Allen – Louisville;
Phoenix Mercury: Tyler Scaife – Rutgers; Phoenix Mercury: Raisa Musina – Russia;
New York Liberty: Mercedes Russell – Tennessee; Los Angeles Sparks: Shakayla Thomas – Florida State; Minnesota Lynx: Kahlia Lawrence – Mercer
Las Vegas Aces: Raigyne Moncrief Louis – LSU; Phoenix Mercury: Imani Wright – Florida State; Atlanta Dream: Mackenzie Engram – Georgia; Chicago Sky: Amarah Coleman – DePaul; Seattle Storm: Teana Muldrow – West Virginia; Dallas Wings: Natalie Butler – George Mason; Washington Mystics: Rebecca Greenwell – Duke
Las Vegas Aces: Jill Barta – Gonzaga; Connecticut Sun: Mikayla Cowling – California
New York Liberty: Leslie Robinson – Princeton; Los Angeles Sparks: Julie Reisingerová – Czech; Minnesota Lynx: Carlie Wagner – Minnesota
- Los Angeles Sparks 76 – Minnesota Lynx 85
Highlights: The Minnesota Lynx are no strangers to celebration. Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and a proud core have danced in the confetti and bathed in bubbly four times now. Sylvia Fowles had 17 points and broke her own WNBA Finals record by grabbing 20 rebounds to lead the Lynx to their fourth championship in seven years with an 85-76 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks in Game 5 on Wednesday night. Moore had 18 points and 10 rebounds and hit a huge runner with 26 seconds to play, Whalen had 17 points and eight assists and Seimone Augustus added 14 points, six assists and six boards to help the Lynx move into a tie with the Houston Comets for most titles in league history. Candace Parker had 19 points, 15 rebounds and five assists for the Sparks, who were looking to become the first repeat champions in 15 years. Chelsea Gray had 15 points and eight assists, but Nneka Ogwumike fouled out with 5:29 to play and finished with 11 points. Los Angeles turned it over 17 times. Rebekkah Brunson had 13 points and eight rebounds and won her fifth championship, a league record.
- Minnesota Lynx 80 – Los Angeles Sparks 69
Highlights: Sylvia Fowles and the Minnesota Lynx weren’t about to let their season end in Los Angeles. The WNBA MVP helped the Lynx force a decisive fifth game in the WNBA Finals by scoring 22 points and grabbing 14 rebounds as Minnesota beat Los Angeles 80-69 on Sunday night. It’s the second consecutive year that these two teams will play a deciding game in Minnesota for the crown. Minnesota, which is trying for its fourth title in seven years, played extremely well as they dominated inside the paint with baskets and rebounds. Minnesota outrebounded the Sparks 48-28. Odyssey Sims led the Sparks with 18 points and Nneka Ogwumike added 17. No Sparks player reached double figures in rebounding. Candace Parker, who finished with 11 points and eight rebounds, and the Sparks are hoping to become the league’s first repeat champion since Los Angeles in 2002.
- Minnesota Lynx 64 – Los Angeles Sparks 75
Highlights: Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike came up big to move the Los Angeles Sparks within one win of repeating as WNBA champions. Ogwumike had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Parker had 13 points and five steals to help the Sparks beat the Minnesota Lynx 75-64 in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals on Friday night. The Sparks had double figures from four of their five starters, with Odyssey Sims scoring 16 points and Chelsea Gray adding 14. The bench produced 11 points. The Sparks have taken a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five game series and can become the first team since Los Angeles in 2001-02 to win consecutive WNBA titles. Maya Moore led Minnesota with 16 points, all of which came in the second half. She picked up her third foul in the second quarter and fouled out with 37 seconds left. Sylvia Fowles added 15 points for the Lynx. Starters Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus were held scoreless on a combined 0-for-6 shooting.
- Los Angeles Sparks 68 – Minnesota Lynx 70
Highlights: Sylvia Fowles grabbed a Finals-record 17 rebounds and scored 13 points to lead the Lynx to a 70-68 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night, evening the series at one game apiece. Lindsay Whalen scored 14 points, Rebekkah Brunson had 12 and the Lynx held the defending champions to 38.7 percent shooting while bouncing back from a last-second loss in Game 1. Candace Parker had 17 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Sparks, who had the ball and a chance to tie or take the lead with 13.1 seconds to play. But Chelsea Gray lost the handle on her dribble for a turnover, one of two big ones by Los Angeles in the final 14 seconds. Gray scored 15 points for Los Angeles, and Nneka Ogwumike had 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting and 13 rebounds.
- Los Angeles Sparks 85 – Minnesota Lynx 84
Highlights: Chelsea 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. 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. Odyssey Sims scored 16 points and Nneka Ogwumike had 11 points and six rebounds for Los Angeles. Seimone Augustus finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Minnesota.