(East Los Angeles, CA) July 20, 2022 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Sparks were once again at a player disadvantage with starter, Point Guard, Kristi Tolliver, reserve guard, Chennedy Carter, Rookie, Rae Burrell all still on the injured list and Center, Liz Cambage, Not With Team (NWT) status as they prepared for the Tuesday night “match-up” with the Indiana Fever, who arrived with a (5-23) overall record, and are buried in the 12th and final position in the current WNBA standings.
The Sparks did well in this, their 25th game tonight, as they put the brakes on a very bad three-game losing streak and put themselves back into the winners’ circle to improve their record to (11-14), good enough to be in a tie with the Atlanta Dream for Thursday’s match-up.
(1st Qtr): WNBA All-Star and Sparks Mega-Star, Nneka Ogwumike, dominated the court and the game with her impressive scoring prowess, as she collected (14) points on a variety of shots and patented moves, to give her team the big start they have been consistently looking for. The “Big O, #1” would show the vocal and lively crowd more of her scoring over the final 3 periods.
(2nd Qtr): This period showed inclinations of the teams going back-and-forth with a few lead changes thrown in. Both teams netted 20 points each with the Fever’s Tiffany Mitchell notching (9) points on her excellent perimeter shooting. She had a total of (16) to lead her team in scoring at the half. Meanwhile, Sparks Captain, N. Ogwumike added (7) to her period totals, giving her a healthy and robust (21) points for the first half.
[HALFTIME SCORE]: Sparks 40 Fever 40
(3rd Qtr): The Fever’s NaLyssa Smith stepped up for her team and dropped in (8) points while N. Ogwumike stayed very productive as she increased her scoring total to (30) points at the end of the period. The Picasso that Nneka had painted thus far into the game revealed the following stats: 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals, with the final quarter yet to come. The Sparks outscored the Fever by a (22-20) scoring spread. Point Guard, Jordin Canada had accumulated (8) points up to this point and was certainly looking to score in double figures by game’s end.
(4th Qtr): Leading the charge into the homestretch and the finish was Nneka with 5, Brittney Sykes, with 5. Canada and Lexie Brown added 3 apiece, giving the Sparks a (20-17) total for the period, and giving them the advantage of winning by a total of (7) points. And yes, Canada managed to get credit for yet another “double-figure” scoring game in the process.
[FINAL SCORE]: Sparks 86 Indiana Fever 79
Los Angeles Sparks Highlights
● Two Sparks players scored in double-digits; Nneka Ogwumike (35) and Jordin Canada (11).
● In 32:21 minutes of action, she registered a season-high 35 points. This accounts for the third time she eclipsed 35 points and no other player in Sparks history has had more than one 35-point game, per ESPN.
● N. Ogwumike registered 21 first half points, three shy of her career high for points in a first half. Of those 21 points, 14 of them came in the first quarter, marking the third time in her career that she tallied 14+ points in an opening frame.
● With her second basket of the night, N. Ogwumike surpassed Lindsay Whalen for 19th on the WNBA All-Time made shots list, registering her 1,962nd career made shots with the Sparks. Additionally, with her 14th point of the night, N. Ogwumike passed Taj McWilliams-Franklin for 22nd on the WNBA All-Time points list.
● With her fourth point of the night, Canada eclipsed 1,000 career points. She finished the night tallying her second consecutive game and fifth of the season (14th career) with 8+ assists and added 11 points and four steals.
● For the fifth time this season, Chiney Ogwumike registered 10 rebounds along with eight points in her third consecutive start.
● Rookie Olivia Nelson-Ododa tied her career high with six points and grabbed four rebounds.
● The Sparks had 8 active players and were without Liz Cambage (reconditioning), Kristi Toliver (calf), Rae Burrell (knee), and Chennedy Carter (knee).
Indiana Fever Highlights
● Five Fever players scored in double-digits; Tiffany Mitchell (22), NaLyssa Smith (14), Kelsey Mitchell (12) and Emma Cannon (10).
● Tiffany Mitchell registered a season-high 22 points, her sixth time recording 20+ points and second time doing so against the Sparks..
● Indiana outrebounded Los Angeles 32-27 and the Fever bench outscored the Sparks bench 34- 17.
(NEXT UP): Atlanta Dream, on Thursday, 7/21/22 with their overall record of (11-14), the same as the Sparks. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:30 PM and can be viewed on Spectrum SportNet and NBA TV.