Los Angeles put another game in the refrigerator on Thursday in their 84-75 triumph over the Atlanta Dream. Forward Nneka Ogwumike led the game in scoring and earned a double double with 38 points and 11 rebounds.
Center Candace Parker scored 15 points and seven rebounds and forward Essence Carson clinched 15 points for Los Angeles.
Guard Tiffany Hayes scored 32 points for Atlanta, center Elizabeth Williams earned a double double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
San Bernardino native Layshia Clarendon scored 12 points and five rebounds. Los Angeles native Reshanda Gray scored four points and six rebounds for the Dream.
Atlanta kept the tempo fast throughout the contest; both teams did not shoot much from beyond the arch. Despite the loss, Atlanta had 13 fast break points, five more than Los Angeles. The Dream also earned 10 more rebounds than the Sparks did.
The first quarter was full of ties and lead switches; Los Angeles would not get more than four points ahead of Atlanta. Both teams had three turnovers, but the Dream shot at 83.3 percent from the free throw line. However, the Sparks shot at 47.1 percent in field goals.
The Sparks escaped from the first quarter with one point over the Dream. The second period belonged to Hayes, who scored 12 points during that period. Hayes did not miss a single shot that she attempted. Only three Sparks players scored in the 2nd quarter.
Los Angeles had little control of the second quarter and went into halftime trailing 35-37. This problem echoed the Sparks game against the Dallas Wings on Tuesday, where Los Angeles entered into halftime behind 34-53.
Not only was the Dream outscoring the Sparks, Atlanta had 21 rebounds compared to Los Angeles 16 rebounds.
The Sparks continued trail in the early minutes of the third quarter. A three-point play from Carson gave the Sparks the lead. Atlanta began making turnovers, which helped the Sparks go on an 8-5 run. By the end of the period, Los Angeles was up by eight points.
Ogwumike dominated the Sparks offense in the fourth quarter by scoring 16 points. Hayes continued to contest Los Angeles, scoring nine points during that period. Atlanta would get within three points of the Sparks, but were unable to regain the lead.
The Sparks next game is against the New York Liberty on Sunday, July 3 at the Staples Center.