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The 2002 WNBA Finals was the championship series of the 2002 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Los Angeles Sparks, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, defeated the New York Liberty, top-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, two games to none in a best-of-three series. This was Los Angeles' second title. As of 2017, this is the last time a WNBA franchise won back to back championships. Coincidentally 2 months before the finals, the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA would win their 14th title by sweeping a New York Metro team, the New Jersey Nets 4-0.

2002 WNBA Finals
TeamCoachWins
Los Angeles Sparks Michael Cooper 2
New York Liberty Richie Adubato 0
DatesAugust 29 – August 31
MVPLisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks)
Eastern FinalsNew York defeated Washington, 2–1
Western FinalsLos Angeles defeated Utah, 2–0
WNBA Finals

The Liberty made their fourth appearance in the Finals in franchise history. The Sparks made their second straight Finals appearance.

The Sparks went into the series as defending champions. 2002 marked their second WNBA championship. (The Houston Comets hold the record with four championships won.)

The Sparks had a 25–7 record (.781), good enough to receive home-court advantage over the Liberty (18–14).

To date, this is the last time the New York Liberty have reached the WNBA Finals.

Road to the finalsEdit

Los Angeles Sparks New York Liberty
25–7 (.781)
1st West, 1st overall
Regular season 18–14 (.562)
1st East, 4th overall
Defeated the (4) Seattle Storm, 2–0 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (4) Indiana Fever, 2–1
Defeated the (3) Utah Starzz, 2–0 Conference Finals Defeated the (3) Washington Mystics, 2–1

Regular season seriesEdit

The teams had split the regular season series:

Game summariesEdit

All times listed below are Eastern Daylight Time.

Game 1Edit

August 29
7:30pm
"Game 1". Archived from the original on 2002-11-26. Retrieved 2011-09-14.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Los Angeles Sparks 71, New York Liberty 63
Scoring by half: 35-35, 36-28
Pts: Mabika 20
Rebs: Byears 11
Pts: Hammon 18
Rebs: Weatherspoon 7

Game 2Edit

August 31
3:30pm
"Game 2". Archived from the original on 2002-11-26. Retrieved 2011-09-14.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
New York Liberty 66, Los Angeles Sparks 69
Pts: Johnson, Whitmore 17
Rebs: Phillips 8
Pts: Leslie 17
Rebs: Byears 11
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles

Nikki Teasley hit a series-winning three pointer with 2.1 seconds left. Teresa Weatherspoon tried to repeat history by trying to make a halfcourt heave at the buzzer, but the shot was blocked, and the Sparks won their second consecutive title.

AwardsEdit

RostersEdit

2002 Los Angeles Sparks Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
C 41   Askamp, Marlies 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 198 lb (90 kg) Germany
F 00   Byears, Latasha 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 206 lb (93 kg) DePaul
F 14   DeSouza, Erika 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Brazil
G 21   Dixon, Tamecka 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 148 lb (67 kg) Kansas
F 17   Grgin-Fonseca, Vedrana 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 160 lb (73 kg) Croatia
C 9   Leslie, Lisa 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Southern California
F 4   Mabika, Mwadi 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 165 lb (75 kg) Democratic Republic of the Congo
G 10   McCrimmon, Nicky 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 125 lb (57 kg) Southern California
F 8   Milton, Delisha 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 172 lb (78 kg) Florida
G 42   Teasley, Nikki 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 165 lb (75 kg) North Carolina
G 13   Witherspoon, Sophia 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 145 lb (66 kg) Florida
Head coach
Assistant coaches
  •   Glenn McDonald
  •   Karleen Thompson




Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  •   Injured
2002 New York Liberty Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
C 42   Cooper, Camille 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 176 lb (80 kg) Purdue
F 31   Frohlich, Linda 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 183 lb (83 kg) University of Nevada, Las Vegas
G 25   Hammon, Becky 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) 136 lb (62 kg) Colorado State
G 7   Hlede, Korie 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Duquesne
G 55   Johnson, Vickie 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Louisiana Tech
C 50   Ngoyisa, Bernadette 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Democratic Republic of the Congo
F 24   Phillips, Tari 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 200 lb (91 kg) University of Central Florida
F 3   Robinson, Crystal 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Southeastern Oklahoma State University
G 11   Weatherspoon, Teresa 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 161 lb (73 kg) Louisiana Tech
F 44   Whitmore, Tamika 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Memphis
F 23   Wicks, Sue 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 174 lb (79 kg) Rutgers
Head coach
Assistant coaches




Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  •   Injured