In their last game before the All-Star Break, the Los Angeles Sparks (11-8) beat the Atlanta Dream (5-15) 78-66. Coach Fisher’s squad trailed 49-46 entering the fourth quarter before exploding with an incredible 32-point quarter to earn the double-digit triumph. Perhaps more impressive was that the Sparks closed the game on a 15-1 run.
Fisher credited the team’s consistency throughout the game for the strong finish. Despite not hitting every shot early, Fisher felt his team played well and created good looks for everybody. He credited good ball movement and was happy about the team’s 22 assists on 28 made shots.
“In the fourth quarter, because the ball was moving the whole game, everybody still felt involved,” Fisher said. “And then the shots started to fall, things started to go well, and then the energy just continued to build.”
Unsurprisingly, Nneka Ogwumike led the way for the Sparks. She scored 24 points on 10-14 shooting to go with her nine rebounds, five assists and two steals. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt poured in a career-high 23 points on 7-13 shooting, and Chiney Ogwumike scored 15 points and added 12 boards.
Ruffin-Pratt buried six of the team’s nine-made three-point shots, and while her performance may have surprised some, Coach Fisher has come to expect this from TRP because of the work he sees her putting in every day. Fisher felt the small forward came into the game with tremendous confidence and took advantage of the opportunities that came her way.
“You can’t do that if you don’t work at it,” Fisher said. “You can’t just show up to the game and make shots if you’re not putting in hours before practice, after practice. You can’t only do it when the coach asks you to do it. And so TRP has put the work in because she wants to be good, and I’m very happy for her tonight.”
Fisher’s team, which has won seven of its last nine games, enters the All-Star Break as one of the hottest teams in the WNBA.
After the break, the Sparks will face the league’s top team, the Las Vegas Aces (13-6), on Thursday, Aug. 1. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. PT and will air on ESPN2.