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Recap: Sparks beat the Sun in L.A. but Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones stole the show

In Chiney Ogwumike’s first contest against her former team, she combined with sister Nneka for 39 points in the Sparks’ 77-70 win. Jonquel Jones finished with a scorching 22 rebounds and 16 points in the Sun’s loss.

Chiney Ogwumike (left) scored a game-high 20 points in the Sparks’ Friday night home-opening win against the Sun. Jonquel Jones (right) pulled down a near record-breaking 22 rebounds in the Sun’s loss.
Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

In a tight contest featuring seven lead changes and the game tied seven times, the Los Angeles Sparks emerged with the 77-70 victory due to solid scoring efforts from longtime spark Nneka Ogwumike (19 points), new spark Chiney Ogwumike (20 points) and stalwart guard Chelsea Gray (16 points). It was Chiney’s first outing against her former Sun team; her 20 points were a game high. Nneka, meanwhile, recorded a double-double by also getting 15 rebounds.

The combined 39 points and 22 rebounds for the Ogwumike sisters were the biggest factors in the Sparks’ win.

The Sun came to the City of Angels to compete and outperformed the Sparks in some key areas of the box score, starting with rebounds. The Sun pulled down 51 boards to the Sparks’ 39. Jonquel Jones was a big part of that defensive effort, with 22 of those rebounds to go with her 16 points.

Defensive performance aside, the Sun didn’t do enough on offense to get by a determined L.A. team. Alyssa Thomas was held to just four points and Shekinna Stricklen scored just two.

Next up

The Connecticut Sun continue their westward road swing on Sunday, June 2, against the Las Vegas Aces. After losing a close game to the Phoenix Mercury on Friday night in Liz Cambage’s debut, both teams will be battling to prevent a two-game losing streak. Watch on WNBA League Pass (nationally) or MYLVTV and NESN (local markets).

The Los Angeles Sparks hit the road for a matchup against the New York Liberty on Tuesday, June 4. The Liberty dropped a season-opening match against the Indiana Fever, but look to get even on the road in today’s Saturday, June 1, rematch. Otherwise, they’ll carry an 0-2 deficit into a contest against a formidable Sparks’ squad. Watch on WNBA League Pass (nationally) or YES TV and Spectrum Sports Net (local markets).