Los Angeles Sparks Survive Phoenix

WNBA 2016: Phoenix Mercury vs Los Angeles Sparks game during the 20th WNBA Season at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ca on June 17, 2016. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)
WNBA 2016: Phoenix Mercury vs Los Angeles Sparks game during the 20th WNBA Season at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ca on June 17, 2016. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)

Los Angeles, CA – From the opening tip you could tell that the Los Angeles Sparks were on a mission. The Sparks won their 11th game in row 77-71 over the Phoenix Mercury. Candace Parker looked for her offensive to start the game and the first basket in the second half. Parker finished with 24 Points, 11 rebounds in the game.

Late in the fourth quarter with the score 73-69 with 3:39 left in the game Sparks coach Brian Agler called a critical time out to gather his troops. Out of that time out the Sparks left with an empty possession on shot clock violation. But they played solid defense to score a basket and force Phoenix to call a timeout 75-69 1:12 in the game.

The team took a four point lead into the half after setting the tone being the aggressor. Phoenix would not go away quietly that kept battling behind the aggressive play of their guard Diana Taurasi who dropped 7 points if first half and 15 to finish the game. She was forced to miss big minutes in first half due to early foul trouble. Most real basketball fans were waiting for Taurasi to explode, but it never happen.

Sparks reserve guard Chelsea Gray stepped up in the game with her defense and smart play on the offensive side of the ball as well. ¬†Gray played 16 plus minutes spelling Essence Carson who had a slow start but finished with 12 points for the game. Gray’s play was better than her stat line. Four of the five starters scored in double figures for the night. The Sparks out scoured the Mercury 42-22 in the paint.

The Sparks could have easily fell into a trap looking forward to next Tuesday’s matchup with the undefeated Minnesota Lynx. These two teams will be facing off in the first or second round of the playoffs barring some hefty injuries bugs.

The Battle of the WEST WNBA giants will be at Staples Center Tuesday June 21st at 12:30pm for the Camp game spectacular. Nneka Ogwumike spoke on the match up, “It should be a special game, playing the best.”