LOS ANGELES — This was another game that was close throughout. And at the end, it was a gutty win for the Los Angeles Sparks over the Seattle Storm, 92-85.
The Sparks and the Storm couldn’t get away from each other. But it stood out once again that the Sparks harassed the team and forced a lot of turnovers yet again. While Jewell Loyd did get buckets to keep it close, the Storm had 9 turnovers in the first half. The game was tied at 39 at the half.
Once again, it was Nneka Ogwumike that kept the Sparks steady in the third quarter. Loyd kept the charge going for her team. But a Lexie Brown three and free throws kept L.A. ahead entering the fourth, 65-59.
Lexie continued to scorch as she helped bring the lead to double digits at 72-61. Jewell Loyd heated up in the fourth herself as she orchestrated a 7-0 run to cut the deficit. But Chiney Ogwumike hit a couple of lay-ups to hold the Storm at bay.
The Sparks built the lead back to 10 before Loyd and Jade Melbourne made back-to-back threes. Nneka Ogwumike made two foul shots to bring it back to 88-82. The Storm missed the next shot but Jade Melbourne stole a Nneka pass before she was fouled (which was called a “clear path foul”). Melbourne would split her free throws. The Storm had two shots that both missed in their possession. And that was pretty much the game.
Lexie Brown had a hell of a second half herself against Seattle. More on this later.
Curt Miller talked about this win being huge for the team.
WNBA can get charter flights now on back-to-backs. Layshia Clarendon talked about it making a difference and they hope that this becomes more of a normal thing in the future.
Chiney Ogwumike talked about having more trust this season as the Sparks are off to a much better start.
Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 27 points, 14 boards, and four assists. Layshia Clarendon had a season-high 16 points and 6 assists. Chiney Ogwumike put in 15 while Lexie Brown scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half.
Jewell Loyd was unstoppable as she scored 37 points off 8 for 12 from three. Ezi Magbegor was the secondary scorer with 14 points to go along with 9 boards.
The Sparks beat up the Storm in the paint, 44 to 20 points. Seattle relied on their perimeter scoring as they made 13 threes compared to L.A.’s 7. And the Storm turned the ball over 16 times as the Sparks defense brought it once again.
L.A. is now 3-2 after those back-to-back wins. Seattle has yet to win after four contests. But these two will go at it again on Tuesday. This time, the scene will shift to Seattle. And this time, the Sparks will get a bit of a rest before heading to the Pacific Northwest.