Los Angeles, Ca-The Los Angeles Sparks (6-9) came up short in the end against the Chicago Sky (8-8) 83-90. The Sparks went in at the half holding on to a slim 3 point lead. They had a 12 point lead at one point in the 1st half before the Sky stormed back in the second half. The team’s last tie of the game was at 70 a piece with 5:15 left in 4th qtr. Then the Sky dropped two quick 3 pointers to take lead 76-70, which was enough to close it out.
The Sparks stars, Nneka Ogwumike lead the team with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and team captain Candace Parker added 22 points, 3 block shots for the game. As a team the Sparks only shot 45% for the game while the Sky shot 52% with 5 players in double figures. The Sky’s point guard Jamierra Faulkner had her way against the Sparks defense scoring 27 points. The Sky won the battle of points in the paint +12, and 2nd chance points +8. So by the numbers the Sky won the passion box scores.
Parker started off the game hitting a nice 18 foot jump shot to tie the game 2-2 and allowed the fans to sit down after the 1st basket. Both teams battled back and forth with good defense on display. Ogwumike got a big steal that lead to a Spark fast break followed by Kristi Toliver being fouled and made 1 free throw to stretch lead to 5 points 23-18 at 1:56 left 1st quarter. A few more back & forth baskets allowed the Sparks to finish with lead after 1 period 27-22. During 2nd quarter Parker heated up scoring 7 points, the Sparks had their largest lead of 12 points at 6:35 mark before the half. The Sky Head Coach Pokey Chatman called a key timeout that fired up her team. The momentum clearly was changing from that point and the Sky began to crawl back slowly.
By the time the second half came around the Sky took a 4 point lead 52-48, 12 minutes later then the Sparks had their largest lead. By the end of 3rd quarter the lead was pushed to 7 points for the Sky. Whatever words Chatman said to her team was enough to keep them grinding. The Sparks need to find a way win games like this at home. This victory came for the Sky just off desire and will. The stars played well for the Sparks but they need to uplift the whole team’s performance to win the close ones. The Sparks get a chance to forget about this loss as they travel to Seattle Storm (7-11) Thursday July 3rd.