Los Angeles Sparks
Sparks fall short in matinee game to Aglers’ Dallas Wings
The three-game winning streak for the Los Angeles Sparks was halted against the Dallas Wings, losing 74-62, during the Wings’ camp day on Tuesday.
Glory Johnson, who returned from EuroBasket play, helped guide Dallas in this win, along with Kayla Thornton and Arike Ogunbowale. Thornton finished with 17 points while Johnson and Ogunbowale with 14 points each.
The Sparks, with the early start, started slowly before Nneka Ogwumike finally scored the first points for her team. Ogwumike was a big source of production for the Sparks as she scored six early points in the first.
Ogwumike finished with her sixth double-double of the season scoring 15 points, which led the Sparks while also nabbing 10 rebounds.
Riquna Williams added to Ogwumike’s start for the team with some instant offense of her own scoring eight-straight points. Williams finished the first quarter with 10 points on 4-5 shooting, making two three-pointers to help the Sparks take a four-point lead.
Williams ended the game with 14 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Candace Parker played just six minutes in the first quarter prior to not returning to the game due to an ankle injury. Parker had just two points, three rebounds, and an assist.
In the second quarter, Dallas rallied to take a 26-24 lead halfway through the quarter mounting a 17-9 run. When that run finally came to an end, Dallas led 33-29 after the Wings knocked down three-pointers to extend their lead into halftime.
The Wings outscored the Sparks 21-12 in the second quarter, while the Sparks shot 28.7 percent from the field on 5-18 shots. The defense for the Wings forced the Sparks to play a bit out of character at times in taking quick shots. The Sparks could not get into a consistent offensive rhythm in the first half as they shot 38.9 percent from the field.
Dallas’ momentum continued in the second half, especially in the third quarter. They were clicking on the offensive end with Thornton, Johnson, and Kaela Davis scoring big buckets for their side.
Their defense was on par once more, holding the Sparks to 12 points in the third quarter.
Despite not getting it going collectively on the offensive end, Kalani Brown strung along five points to help the Sparks try to chip away at the deficit. The Wings still managed to hold onto a 55-44 lead over the Sparks heading into the last ten minutes.
The Sparks bench went on a 7-0 run ignited by the play of Marina Mabrey, who’s three-pointer made it a five-point game. That was the last time that the Sparks were within a good distance the rest of the way as the Wings pulled out the win on a 14-7 run.
A lot went wrong for the Sparks in the loss from the lack of three-pointers to the defensive lapses.
Los Angeles had just made 16 three-pointers, the most in a regular-season game for the franchise, against the Washington Mystics. In this loss to the Wings, however, Los Angeles converted only four of their 19 attempts.
Turnovers were also an issue for Los Angeles, giving up 21 points off of 24 turnovers. Los Angeles could not keep a handle on the ball which hindered them from creating a rhythm in moments.
Los Angeles could not keep up Dallas when they were on defense. Dallas was able to create and hit shots, especially on the perimeter. Dallas shot 42.9 percent from the three and 46.8 percent overall from the field.
This loss to the Wings opens their three-game season series. The next time these two teams meet will be on July 18th in Los Angeles.
The Sparks will look to regroup against the Indiana Fever on Friday at 4 p.m. PT.