(East Los Angeles, CA) July 7, 2022 [From The Editor’s Desk]: This was a huge game for the Sparks as they returned home for their first “back-to-back” set of home games of the season. They were programmed to coincide nicely with our annual 4th of July Independence Day Holiday weekend. Not to mention the fact that they were at the start of building a badly needed win streak.
For the Celebrity/VIP attendees, the crowd was informed that the “Look Who’s Here“ person was —Eric Bellinger, the popular American Singer, Songwriter, and Producer from Los Angeles, CA.
(1st Qtr): Good shooting from both teams was displayed in a fairly even back & forth rhythm. Kristi Toliver and Lexie Brown were accurate for the Sparks, while Marine Johannas, Natasha Howard, Michaela Onyenwere, and Stefanie Dolson all got credit with scoring. Then with (1:45) left, #9/Rebecca Allen suddenly went down on the court and had to be assisted to the bench. She was then removed to the locker room for medical attention by their Team Doctor. Score at the end of one, Sparks (25) Liberty (21).
[Photo Gallery]: Rico Cabrera, Sr., East L.A. Sports Scene Productions, LLC & EastLASportsScene.Com
(2nd Qtr): Rhythms and flow were still good and both teams traded baskets and free throws evenly. Score was (34-29), It was Sparks with (5:31) left, but that soon changed to (38-37) in favor of the Liberty after a 3-pointer was recored at the (3:45) mark. N. Howard then splashed in another 3-pointer for a Liberty (41-37) lead. The clock ran down and ended the first half with a score of (43-40) in favor of the visitors.
[HALFTIME SCORE]: Liberty 43 Sparks 40
(3rd Qtr): Sparks came out on fire and re-took a small lead when they were up by 4 points as they coasted into the 4:00 minute mark with the scoreboard showing (55-52) in their favor. The Sparks went on a brief run thanks to a N. Ogwumike jumper and then stretched into 4 after a Lexie Brown triple. A time-out was then called by the liberty at (6:42). The Sparks then caught fire with a basket by Katie Lou Samuelson and the Ogwumike sisters putting up consecutive scores themselves. The key to winning this 3rd quarter was the stellar defensive effort put in by the Sparks as they limited the Liberty to just 14 points, while they scored 25.
(4th Qtr): The score was (65-60) Sparks with (7:03) left in the game. The lead grew to (77-70) with (2:45) remaining as Liz Cambage took over the game on the inside and from the short-range perimeter. She added another basket and moved the margin up to (79-70). A time-out was quickly called by New York to break the Sparks‘ rhythm. When play resumed, and with (2:15) reading on the clock, shooting guard, Sabrina Ionesco hit a big 3-pointer, cutting the lead to (79-73). Then Coach Williams called a strategic time-out with just (0:57.8) seconds left. After the rest period, Cambage attacked again and resulted in an “And 1” play moving the score to an (82-73) lead with only (0:35.3) left. The Liberty called their last time-out but produced nothing in return. N. Ogwumike was fouled on her drive and made both for an (84-73) lead with (0:27.5) left. The Liberty scored heir final point when Center, Han Xu, converted one of two free throws after drawing a contact foul with only (:04.4) seconds to go.
(OF SIGNIFICANCE): Once again the Sparks had five players scoring in double-figures. They were led by their Capt. N. Ogwumike with (22), Liz Cambage with (16), Katie Lou Samuelson and Cheney Ogwumike with (12) each and Jordin Canada who added (11).
(FINAL SCORE): L.A. Sparks 84 New York Liberty 74
Los Angeles Sparks
● Four Sparks players scored in double-digits; Nneka Ogwumike (18), Lexie Brown (17), Brittney Sykes (10) and Liz Cambage (12)
● With her first assist of the night on a Lexie Brown triple, Liz Cambage reached 250 career assists. She also recorded her second double-double of the season (42nd career), tallying 12 points and 11 rebounds.
● With her second basket of the night, Nneka Ogwumike passed Becky Hammon (1,915 FGM) for 21st on the WNBA All-Time made shots list at 1,916.
● With her fifth field goal of the night, Nneka Ogwumike surpassed 4,900 career points. In the last contest against Las Vegas on June 11, she surpassed 4,800 career points.
● Nneka Ogwumike recorded her fifth double-double of the season, finishing the night with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Her last double-double was on June 19 against the Dallas Wings (17 points, 10 rebounds).
● Lexie Brown tallied a season-high 17 points, draining a career-high-tying five three pointers, shooting 5-of-8 from deep.
● Brittney Sykes grabbed a season-high seven rebounds while dishing out seven assists and scoring 10 points. Over the last two games, Sykes is averaging 7.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 12.5 points.
● The Sparks out-performed the Aces in assists (23-15), rebounds (40-37) and points in the paint (36-32).
Las Vegas Aces :
● Two Aces players scored in double-digits; A’ja Wilson (25) and Kelsey Plum (29)
● A’ja Wilson recorded her ninth double-double of the season, tallying 25 points and 11 rebounds. She is second in the league in rebounds per game, averaging 9.9 a night.