Williams led the team in scoring for the fourth consecutive contest with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. She tied her own L.A. record with seven threes, a feat also accomplished by current Sparks Chelsea Gray and Kristi Toliver. The Sparks shot 11-of-18 from distance, well above the season average of 7.8 per game.
Williams was the source of offense in the second unit, but the Sparks got things started by feeding Nneka Ogwumike. Ogwumike scored six of the L.A.’s first 11 points, finishing a lob, cleaning up the offensive glass, and working around 6’7 Teaira McCowan in the post.
Ogwumike said Thursday after the team’s win over Washington that she was starting to feel like herself again, and she put together a classic Ogwumike performance, shooting 8-of-9 from the field for 17 points in 22 minutes.
Her frontcourt partner Candace Parker didn’t have the same success shooting the ball, but she contributed in every other way. Parker had five rebounds and five assists, often directing the team’s offense in transition, and she captained another stellar defensive effort for L.A.
The Sparks were active on defense from the jump. Parker did yeoman’s work fronting McCowan, denying her the ball and keeping her off the boards. Knowing that Parker was controlling the paint, the L.A. guards flew around on the perimeter, closing off passing lanes and generally making the Fever uncomfortable. The Sparks forced 22 turnovers, including 20 in the first three quarters that led to 22 points for L.A.
The second quarter proved decisive as the Sparks outscored Indiana 30-14. In addition to Williams’ fire from beyond the arc, Kristine Anigwe’s effort off the bench was impactful. Anigwe didn’t make anything easy for the Fever frontcourt, getting in the way of entry passes, fighting for rebounds, and putting her five fouls to good use.
The team let up in the final period, but L.A. held Indiana to 40.9% shooting through three quarters, effectively shutting down every Fever player not named Kelsey Mitchell.
This was the end of a six games in 11 days stretch for the Sparks, as they went 5-1 despite playing every other day and not even really getting to practice during the off days. Now they get three days off before picking back up against Phoenix on Wednesday, Aug. 19.