They face an Atlanta Dream (15-14) team at Crypto Dot Com Arena that has really gotten the better of them so far this season. On July 2nd, the Dream waxed the Sparks in Atlanta by 28 points. We saw Rhyne Howard throw fireballs all day on her way to 43 points. The rematch in Los Angeles three nights later was a little better but Allisha Gray scored 23 points for Atlanta as the Dream won by double figures again.
The good news for the Sparks is that the Dream have been reeling a bit. After a 7-game winning streak, Atlanta has been 3-6 since. Their last game particularly stood out as they lost to Seattle on Thursday after leading by 16.
While, yes, the Dream are not doing well, it could serve as a wake-up call for them. The Sparks could be the right cure for the ailing Atlanta team. After all, both games they played thus far have not been close in favor of the Dream.
But the Sparks have had a pretty good finishing kick as of late. The last two games saw Los Angeles score 30-point fourth quarters. While the Sparks have not been particularly good in the clutch this season, the belief is starting to get stronger for the team. They haven’t gotten close to the Dream thus far so if they’re right there at the end, they can have a chance to steal this one.
Nneka Ogwumike continues to be consistent as hell; she mentioned how her production has surprised her a bit but she’ll always give what the team needs. Jordin Canada has been that head of the snake on both ends of the court. Layshia Clarendon’s presence and fearless attitude in that road trip has really helped the Sparks. Karlie Samuelson has shot the lights out. And we can’t forget contributions from Azura Stevens, Dearica Hamby, Zia Cooke, Jasmine Thomas, and Evina Westbrook. Westbrook is playing in her second 7-day hardship contract but she has been a boon for L.A.
The Dream continue to get to the line; they still lead in free throws made and attempted. We know what their trio of all-stars are capable of (Rhyne Howard, Allisha Gray, Cheyenne Parker). But the Dream are prone to turnovers (third most in the league) so the Sparks have to continue their defensive intensity that they had during their road trip.
And if they do that, it could be three in a row for the Sparks. Then suddenly, a new hope for a run to the playoffs could be found.