Defense dooms Sparks as Sky breeze to 82-59 win

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LOS ANGELES–Nneka Ogwumike led the Los Angeles Sparks with 15 points and four rebounds, and Brittney Sykes added 13 points and five rebounds as the Sparks lost to the Chicago Sky 82-59.

The Sparks fall out of the final playoff position with the loss as they reach the season’s midpoint.

Los Angeles’s rebounding woes and defensive lapses continued against the Sky. Former Sparks and current Sky, Candace Parker led the rebounding charge for the Sky with 14 en-route to setting a WNBA record for her third triple-double. Parker’s second triple-double of the season moves her past Sheryl Swoopes, Courtney Vandersloot, and Sabrina Ionescu, whom all have two.

Defensively, Los Angeles was out of sorts — frequently failing to rotate and giving Chicago easy open looks at the rim.

“I thought the rotation was okay at points,” said Sparks head coach Fred Williams. “It’s hard to rotate when you’re in transition, and that’s all about the will and getting back and stopping the basketball and not giving players and teams layups.”

If the Sparks are to turn things around, they are running out of games to do so.