Balance and stalwart defense helped ease the Monarchs into their second straight WNBA Finals, where they'll meet either Detroit or Connecticut.
Lisa Leslie continued her dismal series with another subpar effort Saturday, finishing with 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting as L.A. was eliminated in the West finals.
So what if the Sparks have had just one day's rest? Their 3-0 mark vs. Sacramento this season gives them plenty of momentum entering the West finals.
Though Chamique Holdsclaw didn't step on the court in the Sparks' Game 3 victory over Seattle on Tuesday, coach Joe Bryant said the Los Angeles forward was healthy enough to play.
She's the smallest player on the court. But 5-foot, 3-inch Temeka Johnson came up big to lead the Sparks to their first West finals in three years.
Lisa Leslie might have her name on the court at Staples Center. But if Seattle upsets Leslie's Sparks, Lauren Jackson is going to have to dominate Game 3.
Sue Bird's nose is not broken and she will be in the lineup Tuesday for Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals, the Storm point guard told WNBA.com on Monday.
Mwadi Mabika's 17 points -- twice her regular-season average -- helped lead the Sparks past the Storm to force Game 3 in the Western Conference semifinals.
With a new coach, a rejuvenated Lisa Leslie and a renewed hunger, the Sparks are ready to recapture the crown.
Depression dismantled Chamique Holdsclaw last year. Eleven months later, she seems to be loving life, and L.A., again.