The Los Angeles Sparks continued their hot streak with two recent victories. Under the direction of head coach Derek Fisher, the Sparks have opened up their offense in the past few weeks, and the free-flowing attack is clicking on all cylinders.
Los Angeles dropped 90 points in a 90-84 victory over the Indiana Fever on Friday, and they followed up that triumph with a gritty 76-71 overtime win against the Atlanta Dream on Sunday. The pair of victories moved the Sparks to 9-7 on the season. The Sparks have won five of their last six games to climb the WNBA standings.
Against Indiana, the Sparks relied on another stupendous performance from Nneka Ogwumike. The power forward scored 22 points to go with six rebounds, six steals and four assists. Her sister, Chiney, poured in 19 points of her own in addition to nine rebounds and a pair of steals as the dynamic duo combined for 41 points, 15 rebounds and 12 steals.
Chelsea Gray, recently named an All-Star Starter, filled up the stat sheet as well. The guard scored 15 points and added six assists, five rebounds and two steals. The offense clicked throughout much of the game, as the Sparks had 23 assists on their 34 made field goals.
In the win over Atlanta, the Sparks didn’t possess quite the same offensive firepower, but they found a way to score when it mattered most and made enough stops on the defensive end to come away with a victory. Tied at 69 with 1:29 left in the extra period, Riquna Williams buried a three-point shot to give Los Angeles a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Williams led the Sparks with 23 points.
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Gray stuffed the stat sheet yet again, scoring 10 points, recording nine assists and snagging six boards, and Nneka Ogwumike posted another double double, going for 17 points and 15 rebounds in the victory.
While the offense wasn’t quite as dangerous as it had been in other games during the Sparks’ hot streak, Fisher was impressed with the team’s ability to grind out a victory despite not playing their best.
“I think the players just decided they couldn’t lose this game,” Fisher said. “I think that when you’re on the road it’s hard, and you have to give the Dream credit for continuing to play all 40 minutes to push to overtime. Our players just didn’t want to lose this game, and they just kept finding ways to make plays.”
Winning on the road is hard, but the Sparks do it better than most teams. Coach Fisher’s squad is one of just five WNBA teams with a road record of .500 or better, and the team’s five road victories tie for the highest mark in the league.
The Sparks hope to continue building on their positive momentum when they face the Dallas Wings (5-11) at home on Thursday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. PT.