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Recap: Sparks shake off sluggish start to defeat Aces, 86-74

Chelsea Gray, Candace Parker and Riquna Williams led L.A. with 18 points each. Liz Cambage scored 18 points for Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Sparks v Las Vegas Aces
Chelsea Gray (left) scored 18 points in the Sparks’ 86-74 win over the Aces on Thursday, June 27.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Sparks (5-6) defeated the Las Vegas Aces (6-5) 86-74 on Thursday night at home.

Candace Parker, Riquna Williams and Chelsea Gray scored 18 points each to help L.A. end a four-game losing streak. Gray, in particular, made highlight play after highlight play throughout the game. She added 6 assists and 4 rebounds to complete a strong all-around performance.

The Sparks were also able to win this game without one of their key starters. Nneka Ogwumike did not play in the game because of “load management.” She spent part of the day filming “Space Jam 2”:

Though Nneka didn’t play, Chiney Ogwumike, who is also reportedly in the film, did, scoring 6 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

After trailing 18-17 in the first quarter, where L.A. shot just 30.4 percent from the field, the Sparks gradually broke the game open in the second and third quarters as they outscored Las Vegas, 49-35.

The Sparks raced to a 19-point lead with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter when Williams made a three-point shot to make the score 76-57. Though the Aces made a small run to lower the deficit after that, the outcome was all but decided.

Liz Cambage scored 18 points for the Aces on 9-of-12 shooting, while Dearica Hamby added 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds off the bench.

What’s next for the Sparks

The Sparks host the Chicago Sky on Sunday, June 30, at 5 p.m. ET.

What’s next for the Aces

The Aces head back home to host the Indiana Fever on Saturday, June 29, at 10:30 p.m. ET.