Sparks can’t finish off the Mystics

Photo by Dylan Stewart

Los Angeles, CA – The Mystics took their first lead of the game at 80-77 with only 1:18 left in the game looked to steal it away from the clutches of home game crowd on this first of 4 home stand. At a blink of an eye the final buzzer sounded with a 82-80 victory.

Shatori Walker-Kimbroughled the Mystics with 17 huge points off the bench along with four other teammates scoring in double figures. The Mystics just kept hanging around and having runs that pushed the Sparks.

Before the Sparks could blink the Mystics cut the lead down to 4 points with just under 8 minutes in the game. They just knocked down shots and disturbed Sparks offensive with great on ball defense. Forward Myisha Hines-Allen had a good rest to start the 4th and came in still leading her team with 15 points.

Photo by Dylan Stewart

With a last second three pointer Stephanie Talbot led the Sparks with 17 points for the game. Dearica Hamby double-double was only enough to add to her seasonal stats. She scored 16 points along with 11 rebounds.

“We stop moving,” said coach Curt Miller “Our veterans have to lead and get team settled down.”

By the end of third the Sparks had a commanding 12-point lead to start the fourth quarter.

Coach Miller needed his team to stick to the basics and finish strong. The balance scoring allowed anyone to have a hot hand to close it out. With the Mystics taking away Hamby from the offensive end by doubling.

The Sparks held a 5-point lead at the half 43-38 with both teams mirroring each other on the stat sheet both with 6 first half turnovers and +2 Mystics rebound advantage.

Coach Miller was able to get a spark of offensive from the bench with Rae Burrell who hit 3-pointer to force a timeout with 4:30 in half and 32-25 Sparks lead.

Coming out of timeout Sparks shot another big three to continue good shooting in the half. But that false confidence came to hunt the team as they let 14-point lead go by the waste side.

Mystics guard Ariel Atkins was the main focal point in the offense playbook of high screen and roll to try and have the Sparks loose contact to open up for a free shot. They did tie the game at 36-36 with 1:36 left in the half.

Rookie Rickea Jackson dropped a nice 3-pointer early to push 15-11 lead on fast break with a catch and shoot to continue hot start. Even though Mystics ball movement was good it wasn’t resulting in shots made. She was able to did finish with 12 points with 5 rebounds as a solid contribution.

Sparks came in with 1-0 series lead verse the Mystics in their 3-game series. Now after tonight the series is tied 1-1.

The crowd had a special moment before the game to recognize LA Sparks Dearica Hamby has been named to 2024 WNBA All-Star Roster, her third time achieving the honor.

The Sparks will have an opportunity to get this taste of this loss wiped away Friday night when they face the Aces back here at