LOS ANGELES — The Sparks snapped their three-game losing streak with an exciting comeback win over the Dallas Wings. And guess what? The Sparks and Wings are going to go at it again on a Sunday afternoon game back at Crypto Dot Com Arena.
What the Sparks probably don’t want to do is get down by double digits early, which they did in the first half of their game. Arike Ogunbowale went off early but the Sparks really limited her production after the first quarter. Any team down by that much early expends a lot of energy trying to come back so it’s obvious they shouldn’t do this again.
But Natasha Howard and Satou Sabally both had double-doubles in that game. They were hard to stop throughout but the Sparks did a good job forcing turnovers after they themselves gave the ball away in the first quarter.
Of course, we came away with the Destanni Henderson game, who broke down the Wings’ defense with her penetration and huge perimeter shots. She had 18 points that helped fuel the comeback against Dallas. Jordin Canada would do the same thing; she also had 18 points. Both guards supplemented the scoring of Nneka Ogwumike, who led the team with 20 points. It’s tough to come back from double digits but the Sparks did it. It was their second largest comeback in franchise history.
So for the Sparks to have a repeat victory, they’re going to have to play the same swarming defense that they’ve been known to do this season. It would be great to get some extra points from Dearica Hamby, Karlie Samuelson, and Azurá Stevens (each only had one field goal on Friday). Both teams shot badly from three, too (Sparks were 2/18 at .111 and Wings were 5/24 at .208); maybe we’ll get better shooting this time around. But the Sparks make their games into grinds, anyway; it was just all about finishing the game. Somehow, they got this one after being down 17.
Either way, it’s about being there at the end for Coach Curt Miller and company. And all they have to do is make the big plays when they matter. A win here would bring them back to .500.