Los Angeles, CA – With Candace Parker making her 2019 season debut, the LA Sparks felt like they had a good chunk of their offense back as they took the court Tuesday to face the Washington Mystics. Instead, it became a struggle from practically start to finish. A bravado of turnovers, countless in-and-out shots, and lackluster shooting handed Washington a 81-52 victory that left the LA Sparks wonder where all the thunder has gone.
“Playing games like these will won’t win you any games,” Nneka Ogwumike said. “When you face yourself in such a large deficit you do beat yourself up at times. Throughout the game we were trying to figure out what worked and we really just could not peg that.”
What was supposed to be a big pick me up after a setback to the Liberty on Friday turned into one of the more lopsided losses Sparks fans rarely see.
“For us it turned into a day one type of game,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “Getting Candace back got us excited but it’s a rhythm. The missed shots and turnovers are tough. At the end of the day its basketball so its back to the grind.”
Candace Parker in her return only managed 3 points on 1-for-9 shooting. The rest of the team caught her bug finishing under 30 percent and were unable to recover after Washington pulled ahead on a 20-3 run to start the contest.
Turnovers were also a plenty. More than half its 27 turnovers, one shy of a team all-time high, came off of erratic passes that led to Mystics points. For the entire game, the LA Sparks were playing a mental game of their own trying to recover as Washington relished on each mistake.
“Coach Fisher and the rest of us took tonight as a learning curve.” Nneka said. “Sometimes these types of games happen and you can’t dwell off of this. It doesn’t excuse the mistakes we made but we have to look back at this performance as correcting all of our mistakes.”
Ariel Atkins for the Mystics quietly finished with a team high 22 points. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough led the bench with 17 points.
The LA Sparks played in a game they would like to truly forget. Seattle is up next on their schedule Friday night.