Chicago Sky star Candace Parker had a historic night in their 82-59 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks. In a span of three quarters, she earned her third career triple-double (10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists). Parker now has the most triple-doubles of any WNBA player in history. Considering her achievement, she mentioned how she is “appreciative of [her] teammates.”
“I love being a playmaker, I think in terms of trying to get the right shot and get the correct shot,” Parker said. “We’re a team that can shoot, can get to the paint, can play in secondary, can play in motion and that’s the way I like to play.”
The Sparks’ defensive aggression waxed and waned throughout the night; it did not deter the Sky’s shot accuracy. Sparks guard Brittney Sykes noted how they have to hone in on defense.
“[Parker] had the ball majority of the night,” she said. “I’m pretty sure that probably was a scheme because we give hella pressure to guards, so why not let a four-player bring it because you don’t really normally see that.”
Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike led with 13 points and center Olivia Nelson-Ododa made six rebounds. It was a tough shooting night for the Sparks as they shot at 32.3 percent from the field and were 3-14 in three-point shots.
Sykes scored 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Forward Katie Lou Samuelson made eight points and five rebounds.
“We just didn’t put it in and we dug a hole and we kept digging out,” Sparks interim head coach Fred Williams said. “Trying to get some scores, a lot of layups missed, transition points.”
The Sky held the Sparks to 12 points in the first quarter and Ogwumike did not score until the second phase. By halftime, the Sky was ahead 54-25; they shot at 51.4 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from downtown.
After intermission, Los Angeles found runs that made them more competitive. According to Sykes, Los Angeles decided to get to the basket during that phase.
“We had more shots than them, so we were getting shots up, we had no problem doing that, we just got to make them,” Sykes said. “I think we just made a decision as a team … just to be aggressive, don’t pass up shots even though they are not going in.”
Nelson-Ododa was an asset to the Sparks during the second half. She noted how she was being mentored by Ogwumike in recent games.
“I think it’s just fine-tuning skills and just learning and creating that consistency before games just to get in the right mindset,” she said. “She’s definitely really helped with her leadership and just her guidance.”
The Sparks’ will travel to battle the Seattle Storm on Saturday, June 25 at 6:00pm.