LA Sparks fly past Seattle Storm 83-75
The Los Angeles Sparks faced the Seattle Storm Sunday trying to keep their 2 game winning streak and 5 game home winning streak alive. With every player active besides three: Alana Beard (injury), Chiney Ogwumike (injury) and Riquna Williams (suspension) which hasn’t been the case earlier this season. HC Derek Fisher utilized his lady Sparks well evenly distribute minutes creating opportunities which were the result of 5 players in double digits. Among those in double digits, Candace Parker, who is coming off her second injury since the All-Star break, came out of the gate hot knocking down 3/6 shots for 7 points in the first quarter alone.
The second it was all Candace Parker once again scoring 8 more points, 5 rebounds, an assist and 2 steals. The Sparks Point Gawwwd, nicknamed on IG, Chelsea Gray was having a ball with the defense dishing the ball out, totaling gup 5 assist by halftime. In addition to that, she had 10 points on 3/3 shooting from 3-point range. With a 1:42 left in the second quarter, Candace Parker dove for the ball by the sideline and collided with teammate Gray. Parker was down for a couple of minutes giving fans and her teammates a little scare. She did walk on her own power back to the bench and after a timeout, she was back out on the court.
Heading to the 3rd quarter the Sparks head 50-41 and never gave up the lead. Starting F Tierra Ruffin-Pratt was dealing with foul trouble throughout the game, with 4 fouls in the 3rd. Because of that Derek Fisher had to sub her out more he wanted but the bench did come through throughout the game. The player that stepped up the most was Maria Vadeeva, going 3/4 from the field and 2/2 at the FT line totaling up 14 points. This is Vadeeva second game back from Euro-ball and she finally found her footing, only scoring 2 points in 9 minutes in her first game back in victory vs the Aces 8/1.
The 4th quarter is when the Sparks really began to pull away. The biggest storyline was Marina “Money” Mabrey’s 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2/2 from FT and 1 MAJOR block. She was catching fire knocking down back-to-back 3’s early in the quarter that really got the team going. The biggest play that kept the momentum going was on a fastbreak from Seattle and Mabrey got the block and threw the ball right at the defender with some attitude. It was Candace Parker the whole game like I said before, finishing with 21 points, 2 steals, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. Other players that finished in double digits were Nneka Ogwumike (13), Chelsea Gray (10), Maria Vadeeva (14) and Marina Mabrey (10). Overall a great team performance and excited to see this Sparks team continue their hot streak.