It was not a pretty game that is for sure. The Seattle Storm cruised past the Los Angeles Sparks from start to finish, winning 88-63 at Staples Center.
This win for Seattle propelled them into first place in the Western Conference, bumping the Sparks into second place. For Los Angeles, this was their first loss suffered at Staples Center this season.
Nneka Ogwumike led the team on Wednesday night with 19 points. She went 6-10 from the field and made all seven of her free throws. But her efforts were not enough as no other Sparks player cracked the double digit threshold.
Size has been an issue for the Sparks’ defense so far this season and Seattle took full advantage of that early. The Storms’ Breanna Stewart and Natasha Howard were both three of five from the field. Stewart and Howard combined for 15 points, six more than the entire home team that quarter.
Turnovers and poor shooting prove to be costly
Turnovers led to Seattle’s big early lead. Los Angeles gave the ball away a whopping seven times in the first 10 minutes. They also shot a measly 22.2% that quarter, making just four and 22 attempts from the field.
“We just didn’t get good rotations,” said head coach Brian Agler. “We were continually in defensive transition mode, not getting matched up and they game down early on and quickly. They did a good job with it.”
Quarter number two was by far their best showing of the night. The Sparks turned up their offensive performance, drilling 52.9% of their field goals. Ogwumike and Candace Parker combined for 14 total points, with the former also hitting four free throws.
At halftime, the Sparks were down just nine points. That was a good turnaround considering how poorly they had started the game. Nine points would be as close as Los Angeles would get to the Storm for the rest of the night.
Clark Turned it on for Seattle
Alysha Clark turned it on at the start of the second half. She put the game to rest with her offensive prowess. Clark sunk three of her four shots from the field and drained all six free throws.
Ogwumike chipped in 11 of her own, but her efforts were not enough on this occasion.
“They were ready to play and they were the better team today,” Parker told media after the loss.