Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike scored 27 points to defeat the Dallas Wings 93-83.
The win comes in the wake of Ogwumike being named a starter for the 2023 WNBA All Star Game. This marks her eighth All-Star appearance.
“[Ogwumike] came out and just had a monster game for us,” said Sparks head coach Curt Miller. “Her stats are better than her MVP year early in the season … What she’s doing, leading us on and off the court is fantastic.”
Ogwumike also led in rebounds with 12 and guard Jordin Canada tied her career high in assists with nine. Canada was also named on the 2023 All-Star team as a reserve; this is her first All-Star honor.
“She’s asked to go guard the best guard every single night and then run our team,” Miller said. “It’s been really impressive what kind of defender she is.”
Dallas guards Arike Ogunbowale and Crystal Dangerfield contributed 18 points each. Dallas center Teaira McCowan made nine rebounds.
“We’re just trying to play to people’s strengths, I know that we want to execute our plays,” Dangerfield said. “I’m trying to do whatever it takes to win. My job is to figure out how our options can be a little bit more successful, especially late in the game.”
All except one Sparks player made at least one assist in the matchup. Sparks forward Dearica Hamby was elated to see her team be rewarded for making the extra pass.
“You want less selfish players,” Hamby said. “We moved the ball really well, we enjoyed playing with each other.”
Making the extra pass and getting points in the paint gave the Sparks an early advantage. Canada made five assists alone in the first quarter. Ogwumike and Hamby led the offense throughout the first half.
Dallas found success in pushing the pace on offense and found a 10-point run. A late surge by the Sparks tied the game up at 44 by the half.
The game remained close in the third quarter until Dangerfield made a six-point run, helping the Wings have a 10-point advantage. Perimeter shooting helped the Sparks get back in the game.
Los Angeles was 8-19 from downtown, guard Karlie Samuelson’s four three-pointers led the effort. Samuelson is known to not shoot a lot during games, her teammates have been urging otherwise.
“That’s what I get told the most, I get in trouble for is not shooting, [Canada] gets on me all game,” Samuelson said. “It’s a feel thing for me, I don’t like to feel like I forced it but it is a good shot.”
With the victory, the Sparks have a 7-7 overall record, putting them in fifth place in the WNBA. The Sparks will travel to battle the Chicago Sky on June 28 at 9:00A.M.