wnba

Sparks down big early, lose to Sky in Chicago

Grace Hollars-USA TODAY NETWORK
The LA Sparks trailed by as many as 21 points in their loss at the Chicago Sky on Thursday night in WNBA action at Wintrust Arena.

It was one of those nights for the Sparks.

The Sparks were down by as many as 21 points. They committed 18 turnovers. And by the time they found some rhythm, it was too late, falling to the Chicago Sky, 83-73, on Thursday night at Wintrust Arena.

Sparks (2-5) were down quickly by double digits in the first quarter. The closest they got was a nine-point deficit when Dearica Hamby closed the third quarter with six straight points.

But Los Angeles never got closer than that and the Sky (3-3) came away with their first home win of the season.

Interim coach Nola Henry said the turnovers overwhelmed the Sparks.

“Watching it on film, going back to the drawing board, getting some good film session in on seeing what is it,” said Henry, who replaced Miller as he was being inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame. “Is it other people forcing us into turnovers? Is it our lack of focus? What is causing us to struggle taking care of the ball? Definitely something we’re concerned about; no one wants to turn the ball over 18 times a game.

“It is what it is so we’ll try to adjust and be better going forward. But that’s definitely our emphasis. You want to take care of the ball.”

Hamby was outstanding again, finishing with 24 points and 13 rebounds. She said rebounding stopped their second-half rally.

“I think the (offensive) boards are momentum killers,” Hamby said. “We really talked about limiting them, knowing that they’re pretty elite at that.

“And I think when we were within reach, we kind of let that get away from us.”

The Sky had 13 offensive rebounds compared to seven by the Sparks.

Kia Nurse scored 17 points to supplement L.A.’s scoring while Rickea Jackson came on late to score 10 points.

As for Chicago, Marina Mabrey led with 20 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists. Elizabeth Williams was a defensive monster, scoring 17 points with 11 rebounds, four blocks and four steals. Sky mainstay Dana Evans finished with 15 points.

The Sparks finish their road trip Sunday at the Phoenix Mercury.

The Sporting Tribune’s Fredo Cervantes contributed to this report.