Los Angeles, CA – The No 3 seeded Los Angeles Sparks advanced to the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs with a 92-69 second-round win over Seattle Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.
Sparks point guard Chelsea Gray scored 21 points to help the Sparks eliminate the defending champions. Forward Nneka Ogwumike added 17 points.
Los Angeles moves on to play the No.3 seeded Connecticut Sun on Tuesday to begin a five-game series. The Sparks won two out of three games against the Sun during the regular season.
The things that we are doing are working out pretty good,” Sparks coach Derek Fisher said. “We came out in the second half and stuck with our defense and made it hard for Seattle to get points. That’s what we want to carry forward against Connecticut.”
The Storm took a 23-22 first quarter lead with the help of Natasha Howard’s 12 points. Howard was held scoreless in the second quarter as the Sparks took control. Gray scored eight points, including two three-pointers, during a 13-4 run that helped give the Sparks a nine-point lead with 3:19 remaining in the second quarter.
Gray scored 11 of her 16 points in the quarter and the Sparks built a 43-36 halftime lead. The Storm took a 1-point lead in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Howard but the Sparks went on a 21-3 run to put the game out of reach.
Candace Parker had double-double, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds while Riquna Williams added 11 points. The Sparks had four players finish in double figures.
“We are a team of moments. We are a team of opportunities. We are a team that grinds,” Ogwumike said. “I think that was really reflective of the win today.”