(East Los Angeles, CA) July 19, 2022 [From The Editor’s Desk]: At the time of this writing, the Chicago Sky, with Candace Parker, owners of a (17-6) overall WNBA season record, made their second compulsory visit to Los Angeles in possession of the “numero uno” or #1 standing at this point in the season. The Sparks, on the other hand, still mired with their under .500% record at (10-13), qualifying them for a 8th place spot in the standings, are still struggling to find their true season rhythm in maintaining the valued “winning streak,” and before they embark at the end of the month for a road trip.
[Of Significance]: Center, Liz Cambage, would not play in this game due to the WNBA’s Health and Safety protocols.
(1st Qtr): The Sparks got off to a great start and ended up taking the period by a close (17-16) score. Four of the five starters scored in a balanced way to give them the advantage. Only two of the Sky’s starters managed to score with Kahleah Cooper scoring (4) and Emma Meesseman adding (6). Reserve, Azurá Stevens scored (6). The Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike and Brittney Sykes each had (4). Katie Lou Samuelson had (3) while four other teammates scored (2) each. At the end of the first, it was Sparks (17), Sky (16).
(2nd Qtr): In this period, the Sparks only registered (11) points while the Sky began to get a big offensive boost from their bench as they racked up (21) points, leaving the floor at halftime with an (9) point lead. The Sky was led by Rebekah Gardner, Dana Evans, and Allie Quigley who all combined for a total of (14).
(HALFTIME SCORE): SKY 37 SPARKS 28
(3rd Qtr): The Sky stretched their lead just a bit thanks to the accurate and timely shooting skills of Kahleah Cooper and Allie Quigley, with (8) and (6) points respectively. The Sky outscored the Sparks by another 11 point margin of (31-20). For the Sparks, Chiney Ogwumike had a very strong performance as she netted (8) points and her big sister, Nneka scored (4). The score at the end of the period was Sky 68, Sparks 48.
(4th Qtr): This final stanza featured a tremendous effort by Rebekah Gardner who put up (10) points shooting (4-6) from the field. In looking at the final scoresheet, one notable column was that Super-Mega star, Candace Parker did not score in the entire game. That was first time after playing in (381) games. N, Ogwumike, B. Sykes, and Jordin Canada did the final scoring for the Sparks as they put up (20) points for the quarter.
[FINAL SCORE]: CHICAGO SKY 80 SPARKS 68 [ATTENDANCE]: 5,856
(Photo Gallery Credit): Erik Sarni, East L.A. Sports Scene Productions, LLC – EastLASportsScene.Com
Los Angeles Sparks Highlights:
● Four Sparks players scored in double-digits; Nneka Ogwumike (16), Chiney Ogwumike (14), Katie Lou Samuelson (12) and Brittney Sykes (12).
● Tallying 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists against the Chicago Sky, N. Ogwumike registered her 5,000th career point becoming the 23rd player in WNBA history to score 5,000+ points. She is also the third Sparks player in franchise history, following Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker, to reach 5,000 points in the purple and gold.
● With her first basket of the night, N. Ogwumike (4,986 career points) passed Maya Moore for 23rd on the WNBA All-Time points list at 4,984.
● With her sixth rebound of the night, N. Ogwumike registered her 2,300th career rebound, making her the 19th player in WNBA history to reach this milestone.
● C. Ogwumike finished with a season-high of 14 points and season-high 13 rebounds. SHe registered her fourth double-double (37th career) of the season and second straight. She also tied her career-high of two three-pointers made, previously setting the record against Dallas on May 14, 2021.
● Leading the team in steals, Jordin Canada set a new season-high of four steals tonight, also dishing out seven points and eight assists. C. Ogwumike also set a new season-high with three steals against the Sky.
● Samuelson tied her career-high in three-pointers with four, her second straight game connecting on four or more threes. She added 12 points, two assists, one steal and one block.
● For the first time in her WNBA career, the Sparks held Candace Parker scoreless. Parker had gone 381 games without going scoreless, the second-longest streak to begin a player’s career in WNBA history (Tina Thompson with 412 games), per ESPN Stats.
● Also, according to Elias Sports Bureau. This marks the first time the Sparks have held an opponent to zero points despite 10+ rebounds (regular season or post).
Chicago Sky Highlights:
● Five Chicago players scored in double-digits; Rebekah Gardner (18), Azura Stevens (14), Kaleah Cooper (12) and Allie Quigley (11).
● Gardner scored a career-high of 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, registering her first double-double of the season.
(NEXT UP): Indiana Fever, July 19th at 7:30 PM | Crypto.com Arena. Watch on Spectrum SportsNet & CBS Sports Network