The Los Angeles Sparks were able to get their revenge on the Seattle Storm on Tuesday, ending their three-game losing streak. LA won a tough overtime battle, outlasting the Storm, winning 77-75.
Los Angeles was able pull away with a win, breaking Seattle’s six-game winning streak at home over the Sparks, which dated back to 2015.
A major key to this victory was the Sparks’ ability to capitalize on the 21 turnovers Seattle committed. LA were able to get an additional 22 points because of their pressure on defense.
Candace Parker led all scorers with 21 points and nearly came away with a triple-double, but was one rebound shy. She collected nine boards and 10 assists, along with four steals and two blocked shots. Throughout the game, Parker came up with timely three-point shots, including the one that sent the game into overtime. Essence Carson, meanwhile, had a big game herself, scoring 18 points.
For the Storm, Natasha Howard led the way with 18 points and seven rebounds. Breanna Stewart, though, finished the game with her fourth double-double of the season. She scored 14, while bringing down 13 rebounds.
Perseverance Paid Off
“I’m really proud of our perseverance,” coach Brian Agler said.
“We got off to a really good start, gave up the lead, fought back and took it over. Both teams were just fighting like crazy at the end. We’re just fortunate we had some people …
Candace (Parker) really stepped it up today. Essence (Carson) played fantastic and Alana (Beard) hit some big shots and did a really good job on Sue (Bird).”
Sparks Get Revenge over Seattle
Both teams battled back and forth to open the game, with Natasha Howard scoring an early eight points. The Sparks, meanwhile, were getting contributions from everywhere, with five different players finding themselves on the score sheet.
With the first quarter coming to an end, both teams were tied at 14. Ogwumike and Carson scored back-to–back baskets. Parker was then fouled at the 3-point line with nine seconds to go. After hitting all three free throws, the Sparks finished the quarter up 21-14.
The second quarter took off with a 3-pointer from Carson, putting LA up 10, but the Storm responded with a 6-0 run of their own right away.
Then, Carson and Bird traded shots from behind the arc. Bird’s second three-pointer of the afternoon brought Seattle within in one point. Chelsea Gray, however, hit back with an NBA-range 3-point shot. It was answered immediately, when Crystal Langhorne made a lay-up that ended the half.
Ogwumike opened up the half with a layup, but Clark would go back and score in the open court, finishing strong with an and-one lay-up. Clark’s free throw put Seattle up one 31-30.
Bird followed suit with another triple putting the Storm up by ten points, 54-44, with only three minutes left in the 3rd. The Storm finished the frame with a left-handed hook from Langhorne, which kept the advantage in the double-digits.
The Sparks came back strong in the fourth, scoring the first six points, and cutting the lead down to just four. Then, a lay-up from Gray put the Sparks up 62-60, forcing the Storm to take the time out.
With one minute left, Alana Beard tied the game at 66. Parker was able to hit a shot that sent the game into overtime. To get to this point, Los Angeles outscored Seattle by ten points, holding the Storm to just six total.
In the final seconds of the over time period, Bird, Howard, and Stewart each missed attempts that allowed during the over time frame.
Beard, though, was spectacular during that frame, scoring five of LA’s 11 points to help break their three-game losing streak.
The Sparks will look to get a winning streak going when they return to the Staples Center to face off with the Dallas Wings. It is another early afternoon game, with tip off set for 12:30 PM.