Lynx beat Sparks to claim WNBA Finals rematch

The Minnesota Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks 85-76 in Game 5 of the WNBA Finals Wednesday night to capture the team’s fourth championship.

The victory served as revenge and redemption for the Lynx, who lost last year’s Game 5 decider to the Sparks on a last-second shot on their home court.

The best-of-five series had seesawed back and forth, with the Sparks winning Game 1 on the road in Minneapolis before the Lynx evened it up and then the teams trading wins in Los Angeles in Games 3 and 4.

The recent games between the two frequent title contenders has been so close that going into Game 5 they were tied in points, 908 to 908, in their last dozen regular season meetings.

The teams, which both earned byes into the semifinals due to having the top two regular-season records, advanced to the Finals with little difficulty, with the top-seeded Lynx sweeping the Washington Mystics and the Sparks doing the same to the Phoenix Mercury.

The Lynx became just the second franchise in WNBA history to win the title four times. Minnesota previously captured the WNBA title in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

The only other four-time league champs are the Houston Comets, who won the first four WNBA titles from 1997 through 2000.

The Sparks won back-to-back championships in 2001-02 to go with their 2016 title, leaving them tied with the Detroit Shock and the Mercury with three WNBA titles in franchise history.