The Los Angeles Sparks continue to protect home court after the All-Star break with their 81-68 win. The Sparks now have a two-game winning streak at home. This game marks the Sparks’ annual Kid’s Day game where youth from local day camp programs attend.
“Great kid day game, really loud and proud, inspiration,” said Sparks head coach Curt Miller. “Big start to a homestand, loved how hard we played even as we got fatigued, we just really competed.”
Forward Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 25 points and nine rebounds. Fever guard Erica Wheeler led in three categories: points with 17, rebounds with eight, and assists with seven. Four Fever players scored in the double digits in the match-up.
Guard Jordin Canada helped out with the win by pouring in 21 points and seven assists.
“[Canada] is an All-Star, I’m not really sure how the League got that wrong but she is playing like she’s an All-Star, she’s showing it through and through,” guard Jasmine Thomas said. “She’s leading, she’s being more vocal than I’m sure she’s been in her career and she has really taken on a big role for us and doing a great job.”
The Sparks made a 10-3 run in the last three regulated minutes of the first quarter, creating a four-point advantage.
Thomas contributed five points during the second phase. She ultimately scored a season high of eight points. Thomas noted how she is focused on improving and how her teammates have been encouraging to her.
“I’m usually a player that gets into the paint,” Thomas said. “For me those first couple takes where I went inside with contact was all I needed.”
Center Aliyah Boston contested the Sparks in the paint while she, along with Wheeler, battled on offense. By the half, the Sparks were still ahead 45-39.
The Sparks boosted their defensive efforts in the second half. Los Angeles held Indiana to two points in the first three minutes of the third quarter. While Indiana guard Kristy Wallace came off the bench to help on offense, Boston and Wheeler only scored two points each in the third quarter.
“Same way people have offensive plans, we have a defensive plan,” Thomas said. “That was a team effort, no matter who we sub in, everybody is locked into that same gameplan.”
Sparks rookie guard Zia Cooke got her third start this season and was happy to defeat her former teammates, Boston and forward Victaria Saxton, in the matchup.
“I’m really happy with her effort and just gotta keep getting her confidence that the shots gonna come around and she’s gonna find more efficiency,” Miller said. “And then challenge her to keep taking good shots.”
The Sparks will battle the New York Liberty on July 30 at 1:00P.M.