Derek Fisher’s Los Angeles Sparks improved their winning streak to three games on Thursday with a 69-64 win over the Dallas Wings. Defense stole the show for the Sparks as they held Dallas to just 22 second-half points.
Los Angeles trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half before outscoring the Wings 24-9 in the third quarter to take a five-point lead heading into the final period.
“I just think our players decided at halftime that they didn’t want that to happen anymore, and they went out and changed it,” Fisher said about his team’s fantastic third quarter.
Coach Fisher challenged his team at halftime, hoping for the Sparks to raise their energy level after a lackluster first-half performance saw them trailing 42-32 going into the break.
“I said a lot of stuff,” Fisher laughed when asked about his halftime speech.
Whatever Fisher said, the Sparks responded to him. Los Angeles scored more third-quarter points (24) than the Wings scored (22) in the entire second half. Suffocating defense and higher energy allowed the Sparks pick up a win over Dallas. Nneka Ogwumike dominated offensively yet again, dropping 22 points to lead all scorers. No other player on either team scored more than 14 in the Sparks’ victory.
Unfortunately for Los Angeles, their winning streak came to an end on Saturday when the Sparks fell 83-78 to the New York Liberty. The Sparks played well, as they had four players score in double figures and the team shot 43.1% as a group. They just ran into a hot-shooting New York squad.
The Liberty shot 46.2% from the field and an astounding 72.7% (8-11) on 3-point shots. Marine Johannes was particularly impressive, shooting a perfect 6-6 from the floor and 4-4 from beyond the arc.
Despite the loss, the Sparks sit in a good position with one game left until the All-Star break. At 10-8, Coach Fisher and Los Angeles sit in the No. 6 position in the league and are looking to enter the All-Star break on a high note. The Sparks are just two games out of first place ahead of their matchup against the struggling Atlanta Dream on Tuesday at 4 p.m. PT.