For the first time in six games, the Los Angeles Sparks succumbed to defeat. Los Angeles fell on the road to the Dallas Wings handily, losing by a score of 101-72. Despite this loss, the Sparks still have the WNBA’s best record, sitting at 9-3 on the season.
“I just think they had a lot more energy, a lot more focus. They were hungrier than we were, and I think they
were more persistent,” Brian Agler said after the game.
Sparks Struggle out of the Gate Again
In the opening 10 minutes, Los Angeles did manage to shoot 50% from the field. However, each of their eight made buckets came from inside the arc. On most nights, that would have done the job, but Friday was a different story.
The Wings were hot from behind the three point line, sinking four shots from behind the arc. Dallas was led by rookie Azurá Stevens that quarter, who was making her first appearance. Stevens led the charge, scoring eight points, tied for the lead alongside Alisha Gray.
She hauled down two offensive rebounds to keep possessions going and had one assist too. Stevens’ contributions pushed the Wings to an impressive eight point lead at the end of the first.
Los Angeles had ample opportunity to get back into this contest during the second quarter. They had tons of offensive possessions and were clean while handling the ball. However, their shot selection was poor. The Sparks had 19 chances to claw their way back, but managed to make only seven of them. That meant that they were not getting any closer to the Wings.
In actuality, Dallas increased their advantage during frame number two. Why? Their ability to get to the charity strike. The Wings’, through the ever-present Skylar Diggins-Smith and Liz Cambage, sank four free throws to push their lead to 14 at halftime.
Dallas did not relent on the offensive side on the ball to begin the second half. Their shooting in the third quarter was the best of the night. The Wings could barely miss, especially from three point range. Overall from the field, the home team shot a whopping 71%, making 10 of 14 shots. From behind the arc, though, Dallas nailed four out of their six attempts. The lead increased to 20 and it was smooth sailing the rest of the game.
Next Sparks Game
The good thing about having a winning streak end is that the Sparks can begin anew. They will get their chance at a new streak on Sunday against the New York Liberty. These two will go toe-to-toe starting at 2:00 PM.