Sparks turning tides in July

Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

LOS ANGELES– Los Angeles Sparks head coach Fred Williams said it; Lexie Brown said it; Nneka Ogwumike said it — the Sparks would look decisively different come July. So far, they’re right.

After starting the season with limited practice time and eight of their first ten games on the road, Los Angeles is taking advantage of their time at home.

Canada on the way to the basket. Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

In their first game of a 7-game homestand, the Sparks opened July with back-to-back wins. After a win in Dallas against the Wings, Los Angeles beat the New York Liberty 65-57.

“We are starting to string things together,” Ogwumike said.

Ogwumike led the Sparks with 22 points — with five other players contributing double figures.

It took the seven-time All-Star one quarter to jump-start the Los Angeles Sparks. After only scoring six points in the first two quarters, Ogwumike scored 10 points in the third quarter, pushing Los Angeles to a 25-14 run.

Katie Lou sets up for a shot. Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

Then when the Sparks needed a stop to seal the win, Ogwumike secured the loose ball to put the game away.
The difference in what has transformed Los Angeles’ fortunes — practice and playing at home.

“We are finding our chemistry, and we are at home,” Liz Cambage said. “We maybe spent, what, 20 days on the road in May. That was the wildest start I’ve ever had to a WNBA season.”

“I think the way we handled May; we just knew we got to stay together. We’ve got to find this chemistry.” “When I reflect on May and how far we have come, it might have been a short amount of time for y’all, but ooooh, it was a lifetime for us.”

Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

Coach Williams’ belief in the team never wavered.

“I’ve been there before,” Williams said.
“I look back at my days with the Atlanta Dream team that went to the finals at 17-17 and no one thought we would get there. I just feel really comfortable with this team. I feel like family. I feel like ‘Uncle Fred,’ ‘Coach Fred,’ ‘Jed,’ or whoever you want to call it. But we have a great time together. This is a fun team to coach. I just feel very confident that they can get the job done. We still have work to do. A lot of work.”