Los Angeles, CA – Kayla McBride delivered a go-ahead three-point play to lift the Minnesota Lynx (1-4) over the LA Sparks 87-84 to hand the Sparks (2-3) their third straight loss in their home opener on Tuesday night.
The Sparks had a slow start in the first half trailing by six 40-46 going into the locker room but began to pick it up in the third quarter to lead 65-62 going into the fourth period.
After the go-ahead and-one reverse layup by McBride, the Sparks were down by three 87-84 with 2.1 seconds left on the clock.
The crowd was on their feet.
On the final Sparks possession, the ball was thrown to Liz Cambage, but she didn’t secure the basketball.
Jordin Canada then grabbed the missed pass and shot a 25 foot 3-point turnaround shot but it was nowhere close to the rim.
LA Sparks head coach Derek Fisher commented on the last possession.
“We’ll learn from that experience of needing to execute. You know, we need three but in that particular situation, if Liz would have caught the basketball, cleanly, she would have had a pass opportunity on top hopefully. I hold myself accountable as much as I do our players and some of the decisions are never going to be perfect. And I just have to own that and accept it and keep working to get better myself.”
The Lynx outrebounded the Sparks 40 to 26.
“As far as rebounding, like, rebounding is a mentality,” said Nneka Ogwumike. “I didn’t do that well today either, you know? You just have to want it and we have people that do but you gotta want it more than who you’re going against. And that’s just something you don’t teach: rebounding. You know, it’s just something that you do. So that just has to be a non-negotiable when we get on the court. And I can imagine that it will be better moving forward.”
Nneka led all Sparks with 22 points and was asked if suffering a tough loss like this is a part of the growing pains of playing with a new team.
“That’s an interesting question. Yeah, I mean, I guess that’s kind of what it feels like, you know, this a home opener, we were the home opener for other teams. And so we were really feeling to get this one. LA showed out, as usual, I know they’ll continue to, despite tonight’s result, but I guess you could say it is kind of like growing pains. But, you know, after you have growing pains, you’re taller. So, I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out.”
Next, the Sparks are back on the road where they will take on the Seattle Storm on Friday, May 20th at 7 p.m.