Nneka Ogwumike finished with a season-high 35 points and the Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Indiana Fever 86-79 on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena.
The Sparks improved to 11-14 on the season and snapped a three-game slide while moving into 7th place in the WNBA standings. The Fever fell to 5-23 with the loss and dropped its 10th straight game.
“We tried our best to value possessions,” said Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike following the win. “We’re kind of short on bodies but [today] we really harped on mind over matter.”
Ogwumike converted 12 of 20 shots while making two 3-pointers, falling just three-points shy of tying her career-high of 38 points. Los Angeles made nine threes on the night, a new season-high while having only eight players suit up.
“She’s just consistent, she knows what to do,” said Sparks interim coach Fred Williams on Ogwumike.
Sparks guard Jordin Canada finished with 11 points, eight assists and four steals. Lexie Brown and Brittney Sykes each added nine points for Los Angeles.
Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell led Indiana with 22 points off the bench while NaLyssa Smith finished with 14 points. Kelsey Mitchell added 12.
Indiana hit 15 of its 18 free throw attempts while Los Angeles made 11 of 16. Meanwhile, the Fever bench outscored the Sparks bench 34-17 but were unable to capitalize after committing 24 turnovers. The Sparks finished with 13 total steals.
Ogwumike led all scorers with 21 points in the first half as the Sparks took a 42-40 lead into halftime. Los Angeles used a 9-0 run in the third to take a 66-62 lead through 30 minutes of play.
“I just know what I have to do in order for the team to win,” said Ogwumike. “My teammates are the best; they push me to know that I have more in the tank and I honestly don’t do it by myself… I just wanna be able to get this team winning.”
Emma Cannon converted a jumper for Indiana to tie the game 68-68 with 8:09 left in the fourth but the Fever then went over five minutes without converting a field goal as a Sykes tip-in layup capped a 12-2 run for the Sparks with 3:37 remaining.
“I thought we could have been a lot more aggressive down the stretch,” said Fever coach Carlos Knox.
The Sparks led by as many as 12 in the fourth after a Canada three-pointer that extended their lead to 86-74 with 1:28 remaining and the Fever were unable to make a late comeback.
“We executed down the stretch,” said Brown. “We had each other’s backs.”
The L.A. Sparks look to close out its seven game homestand on a positive note as they host the Atlanta Dream (12-14) on Thursday, July 21 at 12:30 P.M.