The Los Angeles Sparks swept this year's season series with the Minnesota Lynx, 4-0, but three of those games were decided by four points or less. So even though the defending champs have a 16-game winning streak against the playoff first-timers from Minnesota, this series might prove to be closer than expected.

2003 Regular Season: Los Angeles Sparks 4 - Minnesota Lynx 0
Some fast facts about the Sparks-Lynx first-round matchup:

Katie Smith was held scoreless in the teams' final matchup on Aug. 21, but the Lynx had already clinched a playoff spot at this late point
Despite being oft-injured in '03, Lisa Leslie played in all four meetings between the teams, and averaged 19.8 ppg and 8.3 rpg
The Lynx would be well-advised to go to Svetlana Abrosimova, as she averaged 17.0 ppg against the Sparks (vs. 10.6 ppg for the season)
Former WNBA player Suzie McConnell Serio is in her first year as a WNBA coach while former NBA player Michael Cooper is trying to lead the Sparks to their third consecutive championship


May 28, 2003: Sparks 83, Lynx 80 | Box score

Sparks leaders: Lisa Leslie (28 pts., 11 reb.), Tamecka Dixon (15 pts., 6 asst.)
Lynx leaders: Katie Smith (19 pts.), Tamika Williams (15 pts., 8 reb.), Kristi Harrower (3 pts., 6 asst.)

June 10, 2003: Sparks 76, Lynx 75 | Box score
Sparks leaders: Lisa Leslie (19 pts.), DeLisha Milton (12 pts., 10 reb.), Nikki Teasley (14 pts., 10 asst.)
Lynx leaders: Svetlana Abrosimova (20 pts.), Sheri Sam (7 pts., 6 reb.), Teresa Edwards (2 pts., 6 asst.)

Aug. 14, 2003: Sparks 87, Lynx 83 | Box score
Sparks leaders: DeLisha Milton (21 pts., 11 reb.), Nikki Teasley (15 pts., 11 asst.)
Lynx leaders: Svetlana Abrosimova (15 pts.), Janell Burse (10 pts., 7 reb.), Katie Smith (14 pts., 6 asst.)

Aug. 21, 2003: Sparks 88, Lynx 65 | Box score
Sparks leaders: Nikki Teasley (16 pts., 6 asst.), Lisa Leslie (13 pts., 10 reb.)
Lynx leaders: Svetlana Abrosimova (15 pts., 5 reb.), Kristi Harrower (6 pts., 6 asst.)

(Photo credits: Lisa Leslie by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images; Katie Smith by Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)