Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Sparks game after game always have praised about their defense. But in their last three home games, their offense has been their key component to some big wins. A spread offense combined with 22 assists gave the Sparks another big win over Phoenix 84-74 and have now gone 3-0 in their four game homestand.
The Sparks never trailed and dominated from the start, practically catching the Mercury off guard throughout the contest. As the Sparks started the game on a 9-2 run, the Mercury lost grip of the game allowing another 8-0 run that even had Diana Taurasi expressing herself from the bench. Inactive in the contest, she picked up a technical foul in the process. Matters got worse for the Mercury through the third quarter, eventually trailing by as many as 22 as the Sparks dominated from all sides of the court.
Candace Parker had her best outing of the year picking up 12 points with 11 rebounds and six assists. On a special night honouring her college coach Pat Summit from University of Tennessee.
“I think a lot of people came out here and understood Pat Summit for the wins and her legacy at Tennessee as being the winningest coach and national championships, but I wanted people to understand the who,” said Parker, “The who is one of the hardest workers I have ever met in my entire life. I remember she was on me about not working hard and I wanted to beat her to the gym and I got there at 4:30 and she was already in her office.”
Brittney Griner and Leilani Mitchell combined for 46 of the team’s 74 points. However, the rest of the team only managed to finished 6-for-35 that dragged the Phoenix offense down.
The Sparks have done all this without Riquna Williams, who is now more than halfway through her 10 game league suspension, as well as Chiney Ogwumike . A 5-1 record without Williams and a perfect 3-0 in the absence of Chiney has put the Sparks in an odd position, wondering if they could be one of the more nerve wrecking teams in the league as the season comes closer to the end. With Chicago coming to town to close out the four game homestand, a perfect 4-0 against playoff opponents could put the Sparks back in the drivers seat to bring talks of being the team to beat.