[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]The L.A. Sparks remained undefeated as they geared up for a huge match-up with their visiting Western Conference rival, the Phoenix Mercury on June 17th. Coming into Staples Center with a sub-par 4-6 record, the Mercury relied heavily on their two super stars, Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner to improve their record to a better-looking 5-6. However, the Sparks were up for the challenge and once again, they proved to their fans and the WBNA, why they continue to stay on their amazing winning streak. The streak was a double digit 10 to start the game and with the “Fantastic Four” of Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike, Kristi Toliver and Essence Carson leading the scoring brigade, each with double figures, the team’s total effort concluded the night with an extension of the streak to 11 games. As many of the Sparks’ players would say in their post-game interviews, it was yet another “grind it out” win, with all players contributing solidly for the entire 40 minute game. Don’t forget to check out our video game highlight segment as well as our photo gallery. Let’s Go Sparks!! Rico Cabrera, Sr./Managing Editor, EastLASportsScene.Com
Game Summary: The Sparks led at the end of the 1st quarter by a score of 24-20. And for the next three quarters, the Sparks played hard-nosed defense as they limited the Mercury to under 20 points in each stanza. For the Sparks, they were fueled by the play of Candace Parker who produced a “double-double” with 24 points and 11 rebounds. She was joined in double figures by Kristi Tolliver and Nneka Ogwumike with 10 each, while Essence Carson added 12. Fifth starter, Alana Beard pitched in with 8 points, while playing her usual tenacious defense which resulted in several forced turnovers on the opponent. Sparks bench scoring support came from Chelsea Gray with 7 and Jantel Lavender with 6. A big difference in the Mercury’s game plan was the limited minutes in crunch time that Brittney Griner played due to her foul trouble. She was held to just 8 points, while All-WNBA point guard, Diana Taurasi had 15. The only other players to reach double figures for Phoenix were Candice Dupree with 16, and Penny Taylor with 14. The Sparks dominated with points in the paint, 42-22, and were better in 2nd chance points, 8 to 7, and fast break points, 12-8. All 8,964 fans enjoyed the “Gospel Night” game theme and all exited Staples Center with very big victory smiles on thir faces. They are total believers in what the Sparks have accomplished and they are certainly expecting the win streak to grow bigger. The Final Score was Sparks 77, Mercury 71.
Credits: Erik Sarni, Videography and photography, EastLASportsScene.com; Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images), 3rd photo/Women In Military/In Photo Gallery.
Photo Gallery: Salute To Our Active Duty and Veteran Women in The Military.