Shorthanded Sparks seeking season sweep of Sky


When the Los Angeles Sparks host the Chicago Sky on Saturday in a nationally televised WNBA game, they’ll be looking for a season sweep.

Los Angeles (3-3) posted 76-61 and 82-79 wins at Chicago last month. Of course, those games were with Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike in the lineup. Both are out for this game, as Nneka (left knee sprain) is sidelined for 4-6 weeks and Chiney (right knee) is week-to-week.

Neither was needed Thursday night when the Sparks walloped struggling Indiana 98-63 in their first home game with fans since 2019. Kristi Toliver (22), Te’a Cooper (15) and Bria Holmes (14) logged season highs in the scoring column and Holmes set a single-game franchise record by going plus-39 in the plus-minus ratings.

Coach Derek Fisher was most pleased with a defensive effort that limited Indiana to 25.6 percent first-half shooting.

“I think we have to be a team that’s disruptive, that creates turnovers,” he said. “And we did a better job of converting most of those opportunities tonight and hopefully we can build on that as we move forward.”

Los Angeles must find ways to make up for Nneka Oguwmike’s team-high 16.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. L.A. got at least five points from all eight players that suited up on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Chicago (2-6) is looking for some traction. The Sky didn’t find it Thursday night in Phoenix, where they coughed up a late lead and fell in overtime, 77-74, for their sixth straight loss.

Kahleah Copper scored 14 points for the Sky, who owned an eight-point lead in the third quarter and then took a 72-67 edge in overtime before the Mercury ended with a 10-2 burst.

Chicago will likely play again without star forward-center Candace Parker (ankle), who has missed the last seven games after getting injured in a season-opening win last month at Washington.

–Field Level Media

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