LOS ANGELES–Western Conference Player of the Week, Nneka Ogwumike, led the Los Angeles
Sparks with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Lexie Brown added 17 points on five-for-eight three-point shooting, Liz Cambage had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Brittney Sykes chimed in 10
points, seven rebounds, and seven assists as the Sparks lost to the Las Vegas Aces 79-73. The loss drops Los Angeles to 7-11 on the year and into tenth place in the standings.
Unlike their previous meetings against the Aces, Los Angeles refused to have a slow start. As a result, the Sparks jumped to an early eight-point and placed the pressure on the league-leading Aces.
“The Aces have had, the last few games, very good first quarters against us. So, that was our main focus–coming out strong and sticking with them the whole game,” said Cambage.
As the game wore on, the tandem of MVP front-runner A’ja Wilson, and Kelsey Plum, proved too much for Los Angeles. Wilson, averaging 18.7 points and 9.9 rebounds on the year, had her usual stat line of 25 points and 11 rebounds against the Sparks. But it was Plum who put Los Angeles defenders in a blender throughout the night.
“I had to text someone the other day,” Cambage expressed through a smile, “that Bill Laimbeer turned Kelsey Plum into a monster keeping her on the bench like that.”
Plum had a game-high 29 points and 5 assists.
Los Angeles has gone 2-5 over June, yet the Sparks remain steadfast that their tides and fortunes are changing for the better.
This year, Las Vegas beat the Sparks by an average of 22.5 points. But with former Spark Chelsea Gray out, Los Angeles’s inability to generate offense squandered an opportunity to steal a game against the WNBA’s best in the game’s waning moments.
“I’m very pleased with how we collectively have come together as a unit,” head coach Fred Williams said. “Once it clicks in for you, it’s on all cylinders. Right now, we still have about two or three spark plugs to put in to make things happen on the floor for us; all the way around–on the offensive end and on the defensive end.”