Los Angeles Sparks

Overall team effort bolsters the Sparks over the Chicago Sky

With an attendance of 11,667, the Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Chicago Sky 94-69 in a Sunday afternoon matchup.

Los Angeles notched their second win in a row with five players finishing in double figures against the Chicago Sky. 

The Sparks prepared for the Sky’s fast-paced style of play and were able to match the opposition by defending as a committee with the Sparks holding the Sky to a 33.3 field goal percentage.

The Sky are a good three-point shooting team as a whole; Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley lead the way for Chicago on a nightly basis.

The Sparks had to worry about that aspect from the Sky, as they tend to get hot from three-point range, so the defense had to be tight.

“It’s tempting to get really nervous about the threes going in and then everyone starts hugging who they’re guarding and all of a sudden they’re getting layups,” Sparks head coach Derek Fisher said.

Chicago opened the game with a 5-0 lead with Diamond DeShields and Allie Quigley scoring early. Candace Parker countered the Sky’s first five points by scoring five-straight points of her own to tie the game.

Parker then assisted on a three-pointer by Riquna Williams to give the Sparks their first lead 8-5 with 7:39 to go in the first quarter.

Williams heats up

Williams had a huge night for the Sparks that started in the first quarter. Williams finished with a team-high 19 points on 45.5 percent shooting from the field and her defensive performance was of good help for the Sparks.

Williams has been key for the Sparks in getting the team going with her energy and scoring in the starting lineup in this game and against the Aces.

“I was just trying to come out aggressive and give the team what we need in energy and a spark,” Williams said.

All active players on the game roster scored against Chicago. Sydney Wiese and Chiney Ogwumike led the bench with 10 and 11 points respectively. Sparks rookies Kalani Brown and Marina Mabrey contributed a combined 13 points.

“It’s starting to get more smooth for us coming into the game,” Brown said about everyone getting involved.

Sparks cruise to victory in second half

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt was the last player for the Sparks to find the bottom of the net, hitting a fadeaway shot in the third quarter to put the Sparks up by 14 points. Ruffin-Pratt then went on to score three points in a row to give her team a 20-point lead 58-38 with 7:08 remaining in the quarter. 

The Sparks’ lead extended to 25 points, the largest of the game, on a three-pointer by Ruffin-Pratt with 3:25 remaining in the third quarter. She finished with eight points on 3-5 shots from the field, two assists, and a rebound. 

Brown and Mabrey have had some rookie connection plays that helped the Sparks extend their leads. Early in the fourth quarter, Brown assisted on a cutting layup by Mabrey to put the Sparks up 76-55.

The Sparks had confidence with one another on the offensive end floor as they were patient with the ball. The team set a season high in made 3s going 10-24 from beyond the arc.

The Sparks were able to cruise in the fourth quarter, holding their double-digit lead over the Sky.

Four of Ogwumike’s 10 points came in the remaining three minutes of the game. She scored a jumper to give the Sparks a 23-point lead with 1:45 on the clock then she closed the game with a layup with 28.7 seconds left.

The Sparks now move to .500 on the season with a 6-6 record and sit at fifth place in the league standings.

Next up

To close their three-game home stand, the Sparks will play the Washington Mystics on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. PT on Spectrum Sports Net.

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