May 25, 2023; Los Angeles, California, United States; LA Sparks guard Lexie Brown (4), guard Jordin Canada (21) and trainer Curt Miller react during the second half against the Las Vegas Aces at Crypto.com Arena Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Sparks are hoping to build on their best season this season when they take on the Atlanta Dream in a late-season game with potential playoff implications on Friday in College Park, Ga.
Ohtani tears up UCL and the Angels are done
The Sparks (14-18) have rocketed up the table with a season-best five-game winning streak, which most recently included a 91-62 home win over Phoenix on Wednesday.
Azura Stevens had a game-best 20 points and nine rebounds in the win, with Karlie Samuelson contributing 15 points and Jordin Canada and Zia Cooke each scoring 11 points for Los Angeles. The Sparks posted a season-best 54 percent shooting from the ground, limiting Phoenix to just 40.7 percent shooting from the field.
The Sparks’ improvement in play came along with the fact that they’ve had the same starting lineup in their last six games. They improvised in the first half of the team’s injury-plagued season with 15 different starting line-ups.
“They get used to playing together,” Los Angeles coach Curt Miller said. “Throughout the year we’ve been building this momentum, showing them our core pillars and really educating ourselves on what we were trying to achieve. And they’re seeing successes now, they’re seeing everything coming together, and they’re seeing how disruptive.” Our style can be.
The Dream (16-17) will try to recover after losing 112-100 at home to leaders Las Vegas on Tuesday. Atlanta allowed Aces star A’ja Wilson to score 53 points, equaling the WNBA’s record in a single game.
Rhyne Howard led Dream’s undermanned team with 27 points, while Haley Jones had a career-high 23 points and Danielle Robinson had a best season high with 17 points.
“We had to make stops on the course and get some shots,” said Atlanta coach Tanisha Wright after the loss to Las Vegas. “We won’t dwell on that – we’ll appreciate the game and come back ready to play on Friday.”
Atlanta played without Allisha Gray and Nia Coffey, who have ankle and hand injuries, respectively. Coffey was ruled out for the remainder of the year on Thursday.
The Dream have lost four of their last five games and are 3-7 in their last ten games. Atlanta defeated the Sparks in back-to-back games in July, but then lost the teams’ third meeting on August 12 in Los Angeles.
Source : deadspin.com