Candace Parker, Sky shoot for more success vs. Sparks

The reigning WNBA champion Chicago Sky take their league-best record to Los Angeles on Thursday for a matchup with the host Sparks.

Chicago (17-6) returned from the All-Star break on Tuesday with a 90-75 win over Atlanta, the Sky’s seventh victory in the last eight games. Candace Parker posted a season-high 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in her seventh double-double of the season.

“She’s been in the league a long time, and so she does this on a regular basis,” Chicago coach James Wade said in Tuesday’s postgame press conference. “When she’s feeling that good, you want to make sure you’re giving her more responsibilities.”

One such instance in which the two-time Most Valuable Player recently took on more responsibility came in the Sky’s 82-59 rout of the Sparks on June 23. In that last meeting between the two teams, Parker recorded a triple-double of 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

The scoring total of 59 points in that game was the Sparks’ season-low.

The Sparks (10-13) rallied for wins in four of their next five following the blowout defeat to the Sky, but have dropped their last two. Los Angeles went into the break with a season-worst 37-point loss to Seattle.

In their return from the break on Tuesday, the Sparks surrendered better than 50 percent shooting from the floor for a second consecutive game. Washington went 50.8 percent on field-goal attempts in a 94-81 win over Los Angeles.

“We needed to be a little bit more connected, especially defensively,” Chiney Ogwumike said in Tuesday’s postgame press conference. “KT (Kristi Toliver, who missed the first month of the season) is back, obviously Nneka (Ogwumike was out). Sometimes you underestimate how your rhythm can go. Just getting back, used to our communication styles, defense is where that gets exposed.”

Los Angeles played Tuesday without All-Star Nneka Ogwumike, who was a late scratch from the lineup due to a non-COVID illness.

–Field Level Media

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