All smiles in Los Angles Sunday as the Sparks took downed Tulsa 92-73.
"You could see that we were locked in today and playing pretty well," said Sparks coach Brian Agler
With Los Angeles lineup sporadically changing throughout the season, it was quite the accomplishment for the Sparks to clinch a playoff spot. Tulsa, who already has punched their playoff ticket, had no intentions on handing this game over with seeding and home court advantage on the line with a win.
The Shock just shy of second place in the West have made a positive turnaround since losing their top scorer Skylar Diggins, who will miss the rest of the season with a right ACL tear.
As expected, Los Angles needed to execute on defense specifically with rebounding and eliminating second chance points for Tulsa. The Sparks showed up with heart and hustle, the perfect potion rolling into post-season play.
Candace Parker went for a season-high of 33 points with 5 three pointers; having all but just one for the Sparks. Nneka Ogwumike was shortly behind Parker with 26 points. The dangerous duo made it difficult for the Shock with too many options to no surprise combined Ogwumike & Parker went 24-33 from the field.
LA will head to Atlanta Wednesday to face the Dream. A new beginning is in store for the Sparks and if they can build on this newfound team chemistry they might be a strong contender for the title.
"I think everyone's excited that we clinched, and we're ready to continue our season," said Ogwumike.