Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams matched her career high of seven three-pointers in their 90-76 win over the Indiana Fever. This is the Sparks fourth consecutive win, ascending them to a 7-3 overall record as the Fever has 4-6.
Williams is comfortable coming off the bench and helping the Sparks be a contending team.
“I think the biggest thing for me was getting back to having fun,” she said. “I’m probably best when I’m coming off the bench and I’m able to give more because I don’t have to think as much as I would in the first group.”
The Sparks bench scored a combined 44 points with Williams and guard Te’a Cooper and center Kristine Anigwe playing big minutes throughout the game. Sparks head coach Derek Fisher noted how Anigwe is a “workaholic” who calls her teammates to watch film and practice together.
“She’s constantly in the gym, trying to figure out how to come back late at night to get work in,” he said. “A couple games she did not play, she’s calling and asking what can she do to get better, how she can help the team.”
Williams led the Sparks with 21 points and forward Candace Parker and Anigwe has five rebounds each. Four Sparks players made five assists including guard Brittney Sykes who earned a +17 efficiency rating.
“Brittney’s activity level has been really good for us,” Fisher said. “She had five steals today, which can take five possessions away from your opponent.”
Indiana guard Kelsey Mitchell scored 25 points and Tiffany Mitchell grabbed eight boards.
Los Angeles owned the early minutes of the game with a 13-4 run. Kelsey started a seven-point run for the Fever. The Sparks bench kept the momentum with perimeter shots and revved up their shot accuracy behind the arc into the second quarter.
Williams and Cooper began raining three-pointers, expanding the Sparks’ lead to 13 points in two regulated minutes. As Tiffany and center Teaira McCowan rallied for the Fever, Williams continued to hit three-pointers.
At halftime, Williams led all scorers with 18 points after making five shots from behind the arc in the second quarter. The Sparks were ahead 52-32 over Indiana.
Williams has been shooting at 51 percent from downtown with 5.9 attempts per game. Sparks guard Chelsea Gray mentioned how she enjoys playing with Williams “on both sides of the ball.”
“She’s a headache, so just having her on our side, it’s amazing,” Gray said. “She’s capable on both ends of the floor.”
Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike ran the Los Angeles offense in the third quarter, scoring eight points in five regulated minutes. This did not deter the offensive stride of Kelsey, who countered with a variety of shots. Los Angeles forced turnovers and made plays, creating a 23-point lead.
Los Angeles earned 29 points from 24 Indiana turnovers. Ogwumike noted how she has seen trust and commitment from her teammates on the defensive end.
“That’s really the foundation of our offense, to trust that there’s people behind you, to trust yourself guarding one-on-one and committing to that foundation that [Fisher] has laid out for us,” she said. “And it’s coming together quite nicely.”
The Sparks will battle against the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday, August 19 at 7:00P.M.