Nneka Ogwumike, who had just hit the game-winning shot, also had tears in her eyes, but she couldn’t move because most of her teammates had jumped on her back.Both Parker and Moore know that tonight’s game at the Target Center means a little bit more than a normal regular season matchup.And after the game ended, Parker’s emotions came pouring out as she conducted a tearful post-game interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe."It was difficult," Parker said after Rowe asked her how tough it was to play less than 24 hours after Summitt’s death."But I felt a lot of strength from her and from the Lady Vols family.
Last year on this walk, the first time Parker had come to this precipice -- one game away from winning the championship that most observers thought she'd have a bookcase full of after her stellar college career at Tennessee -- the entire weight of her decade of unfulfilled expectations, frustrations and insults from a women's game that never truly knew how to embrace her, crashed down upon her. They have things that are clouded in their minds."She'd been feeling it all series and trying to work through it."I think it's a mind block," she said. The Sparks were still one game away from winning a title, but they'd have to do it on the road. She wasn't afraid of it, yet it slipped through her hands. That was the final step, and only she could make it."For me to doubt myself in situations where I've prepared to do all that I can possibly do, I'm just cheating myself," she said Friday. Everybody knows when you're doing something wrong."In particular, she mentioned Sparks guards Chelsea Gray and Odyssey Sims, who dominated the Lynx on Friday."They're unbelievable with the ball," Parker said. ET)."Last year we got ahead of ourselves," she said. You can't worry about what's happening ahead of you, because that's when your focus slips."This time, on the long walk back to the locker room, Parker took her time. “As a competitor, you love games like this,” Moore says. And the history makes it that much more fun of a game.I’m sure it’s going to show when the lights come on and both teams get out on the floor.Candace Parker played with a very heavy heart on Tuesday night when her L. Sparks took on the Dallas Wings at the Staples Center.Her college coach Pat Summitt died early Tuesday, and it was obviously something that was on her mind all day long.