After the Los Angeles Sparks took care of business at home against the Connecticut Sun, they travel to New York to gear up for the first game of their four-game road trip on Tuesday at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York.
Los Angeles had a bounce-back win against the Sun after a lackluster performance in Las Vegas during opening weekend.
The Sparks were led by the Ogwumike sisters in their home-opening win as Chiney Ogwumike had a great performance against her former team and Nneka Ogwumike played an all-around game for Los Angeles from the start.
Sparks want to carry momentum
Despite some stagnant moments in the first half for the Sparks, Los Angeles was able to create some runs by getting out in transition to be able to get in a groove offensively following the defensive pressure that they put on the Sun.
Los Angeles held Connecticut to 31% shooting from the field along with a 26% from three-point range.
The good momentum that Los Angeles had in the game against Connecticut should translate against the New York Liberty. The Sparks will play a Liberty team who is still looking for their first win of the season.
Tina Charles moved into 15th place on the league’s career scoring list in the Liberty’s loss against the Indiana Fever as she finished with 15 points for New York. In that game, the Liberty shot 35% from the field in their loss.
Kia Nurse had 14 points and the Liberty’s rookies finished with a combined 19 points. Asia Durr, the second pick in the WNBA Draft, had 12 points on 4-12 shooting while Han Xu had seven points on 3-3 shooting from the field.
New York’s offense was up and down against Indiana. Their energy was not enough to allow them to hit shots and Indiana forced the Liberty to turn the ball over 16 times.
The Liberty were not able to to maintain a defensive presence against Indiana and were inconsistent on the offensive end of the floor.
Going into this game against the Sparks, New York will need to figure out how to maintain their activity on the floor against a depleted Los Angeles team who has found some ground with the Ogwumike’s leading the way.
Sparks roster updates
Los Angeles are still without the services of Candace Parker (left leg), Maria Vadeeva (overseas), and Alana Beard (left leg) as they embark on their four-game road trip starting with the Liberty.
According to Derek Fisher, it would be unlikely for Beard to make this road trip as she continues to recover from her left leg injury that made her a late scratch prior to the home-opener.
Without those three, the Sparks will continue to need all hands on deck. Los Angeles received some great production from players like Sydney Wiese, Riquna Williams, Chelsea Gray, and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt in the win against the Sun.
Walker signs with LA
Los Angeles signed Ashley Walker, who was on the team’s training camp roster, on Monday morning. Walker played in two preseason games for the Sparks and averaged 14 points and four rebounds.
Los Angeles signed Walker after the team was granted an emergency hardship salary cap exception as the Sparks have just nine active players on the roster.
Walker’s presence will help the Sparks going forward with her ability to shoot the ball and play individual defense on opponents.
The Sparks will also look to get their first road win of the season against the Liberty.