Los Angeles, CA- The Los Angeles Sparks have major improving to do if they want to end the season hoisting up a championship trophy and former champion Candice Parker is admitting to that.
“We just have to be decisive with the ball,” said Parker. “If we are going to run then we have to run, if we are going to set it up then we have to set it up.”
The Sparks committed 16 turnovers but managed to pull off a 72-64 victory over the Atlanta Dream. LA ends its 5 game home stand with a record of 4-1 and now it the road for two games.
In the first half, until the final 3 minutes it was a competitive, back and forth game. Parkers 13 points in the first half and a couple of buckets by Chelsea Gray helped the Sparks separate to head into the locker room with a 43-32 lead.
LA extended its lead to 14 in the third quarter with a Gray lay-up but that’s as far as it would go. Atlanta clawed its way back into the contest in the 4th quarter. A shot by Atlanta’s Imani McGee-Stafford cut the Sparks lead 61-55 with 5:08 remaining in the game.
The game wasn’t yet in the bag for the Sparks until there were only 41 seconds remaining. LA guard Odyssey Sims took the ball hard to the paints and made a pretty floater over two Dream defenders to give the home team an 8-point lead.
“We did a heck of a job and played solid defense,” said LA’s Essence Carson. “That’s really what we are focusing on, just getting stops.”
Parker finished with 18 points, Nneka Ogwumike racked up another double-double with 11 points and 10 boards. Gray had 7 assists for the Sparks tacking on 10 points.