Sparks play Sky for second straight game in Chicago

The Sparks lost to the Sky, 80-63, last Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Sparks will meet the Sky again in Chicago on Friday night after they lost to them on Wednesday by double digits. The 6-9 Sky also stopped their 6-game losing streak.

In what was their worst played game since Ring Night in Las Vegas on May 27th, the 7-8 Sparks shot under 35 percent, turned the ball over 18 times, and could never get over the hump when they got down by double figures in the second quarter. Every time they tried to make a run, it would be thwarted by the Sky before they’d make their own run to bolster their lead.

Courtney Williams scored a season-best 21 points for the Sky. In the Sparks’ win over the Sky on June 9th, head coach Curt Miller mentioned about concentrating on their backcourt. They clearly didn’t do that on Wednesday with Courtney shooting the lights out. Marina Mabrey scored 13 for the Sky while Kahleah Copper put in 14 points even in an unimpressive shooting night. Dana Evans came off the bench to score 11.

All-star starter Nneka Ogwumike had another double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Jordin Canada had 13. Chiney Ogwumike and Karlie Samuelson each scored 11. But once again, it’s the Sparks’ turnovers that have been killing them. They were known for taking care of the ball but in the last 5 games, the Sparks have averaged 16.0 turnovers per. Not ideal, especially for a team full of vets (young vets, as Azurá Stevens put it) like the Sparks.

The Sky also made 9 three-pointers compared to the Sparks’ four. I said in the preview of Wednesday’s game that this might be something to watch out for. The Sky are currently fourth in three-point percentage so we’ll see if the Sparks can stop them from shooting from afar. The Sparks also have to be physical as the Sky made it seem like their mission to bang against them. The Sky outscored them in the paint by 10 and even had two more foul shots than the Sparks.

It was very unusual for the Sparks to let the game get away from them. Hopefully, this won’t be the case for them on Friday night. As long as they hang around at the end, they can get a chance to steal this game. And if they do it, the Sparks will be back to .500.