Sparks Cools Off Surging Mercury, 99-94

Photo by Jerry Kelly

LOS ANGELES, CA – For a short time, things were looking up for the Los Angeles Sparks, thanks to a 2-0 start to open the 2022 WNBA season with a retooled lineup that included some key free agent acquisitions. 

However, reality quickly assumed its position, quickly sending the Sparks into a five-game losing streak and into the depths of the Western Conference.

Last night, the Sparks collided with the equally-struggling Phoenix Mercury. Ironically, both teams came into the game after losing to the Las Vegas Aces, the league’s hottest team – at the moment – over the weekend.

The Sparks (3-5) combined an overall inspired team effort with a strong performance from the bench for a 99-94 win over Phoenix (2-5) at Arena.

“I’m really proud of everyone just staying together,” said Liz Cambage.

Led by Nneka Ogwumike (23 points), Cambage (21), Katie Samuelson (17), Lexi Brown (10) and Chennedy Carter (12), the Sparks fueled a 27-9 run between the first and second quarters to build a 56-45 halftime lead.

Phoenix, missing the services of star center Brittney Griner, was led by Skylar Diggins-Smith (28 points), Tina Charles (21), Diamond DeShields (17), Diana Taurasi (11) and Brianna Turner (10).   The Mercury kept chipping away at the Sparks’ lead in the second half – including a late rally in the fourth quarter that brought them to within three points with less than a minute left – but it wasn’t enough as the Sparks rose to the occasion on the defensive end.

It was a special night for Sparks’ guard Jordin Canada (seven points) who collected her 500th career assist in the first half. Brittney Sykes and Chiney Ogwumike combined for nine points off the bench.