In her second start this season, guard Riquna Williams scored a team-high 19 points and the Los Angeles Sparks went on to route the Chicago Sky 94-69 at Staples Center on Sunday.
With the victory, the Sparks (6-6) have won back-to-back home games for the first time this season, while the Sky (6-6) dropped their third consecutive contest.
“I was just trying to come out aggressive and give the team what we needed; that energy and that spark,” said Williams.
“Riquna’s addition takes some pressure off of Chelsea and Candace on the offensive end because of how dynamic she is,” said Sparks head coach Derek Fisher. “Defensively … she has the ability to be an irritant and someone that other guards don’t like playing against. She’s physical, I think [her] addition really helps our [starters].”
Los Angeles led 24-21 through the first 12 minutes of play and carried their momentum into the second quarter.
Williams opened the period with a 3-pointer, followed by a Chiney Ogwumike jumper. The Sparks used 50 percent shooting from behind long distance to take a 48-36 halftime lead.
Five Sparks players scored in double figures. Guard Chelsea Gray added 13 points, forward Candace Parker scored 12, guard Sydney Wiese had 11 and forward Ogwumike finished with 10.
Guard Diamond DeShields led the Sky with 23 points, while guard Kahleah Copper scored 12 and guard Allie Quigley added 10. Former Sparks player, Jantel Lavender made her first appearance in Los Angeles since being traded in the beginning of the season and added six points in 22 minutes of play.
In the third quarter, the Sparks used a 17-4 run to capture a 67-42 lead and never looked back. Los Angeles ultimately forced Chicago to commit 14 turnovers, which led to 19 points.
“Today, we were all moving on a string and really active,” said Parker on the team’s defensive efforts. “That allowed us to get out in transition where we are at our best.”
Chicago cut their deficit down to 80-65 with five minutes remaining, but Los Angeles then closed the game out on a 14-4 run to cruise to victory.
The Sparks have a full week off before closing their homestand out against the Washington Mystics (9-3) on Sunday. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
“It’s hard to maintain the level of adrenaline, intensity and passion it takes to compete in this game,” Fisher added on not playing for a full week. “We’re going to work really hard in practice this week, creating competitive situations [and] making sure we’re scrimmaging and keeping that edge of who we are.”