In their first game back from the Olympic break and their first home game at Staples Center since September 15, 2019, the Sparks were able to secure the victory against the Indiana Fever, winning 75-70.
Brittney Sykes led all Sparks with 16 points. The team’s offensive attack was well-balanced with four of the team’s starting five in double figures, including Erica Wheeler, Amanda Zahui B., and Nneka Ogwumike. Wheeler was able to control the pace using pick-and-roll actions with the two bigs.
The team needed all of the offensive contributions from its starting five with only two players scoring off of the bench. Like they have most of the season, the Sparks got the job done defensively, and Zahui B. had two key blocks late in the fourth to help secure the victory.
The Fever were the second-hottest team in the league entering the break. They put up a fight and never went away thanks to Kelsey Mitchell’s 20 points and 10 from Victoria Vivians off the bench. They held the Sparks to a mere 10 points in the third quarter and entered the fourth with the game tied at 59.
The game came down to the closing minutes and the Sparks were able to pull out the five-point win by holding the Fever scoreless on three consecutive offensive possessions late in the contest. The Sparks ended the game with a Sykes stop and outlet assist to an Ogwumike layup, adding an exclamation point to the victory. The crowd erupted as the team embraced its captain on the court in her first game back since a knee injury her knee which has kept her out since June 1, causing her to miss 14 games.
The Sparks have an uphill battle to climb if they want to reach the WNBA playoffs. They are 1.5 games back of the eighth and final playoff spot with 12 games left to make up the deficit. They have some winnable games coming up this month as five of their next seven matchups are against teams that are under .500, including two straight against the 6-14 Atlanta Dream at home this week.