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Weekend Recap: Sparks win big over Sky but Mystics claim first place in the standings

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The Washington Mystics moved into first place over the weekend while the Chicago Sky dropped to seventh. The Los Angeles Sparks’ big win returned them to .500 while the Connecticut Sun dropped their third-straight game.

Riquna Williams led the Sparks with 19 points in their win over the Sky on Sunday.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Sparks beat the Sky, 94-69, on Sunday. The result brings each team to a 6-6 record. However, while the Sparks have won their last two games, the Chicago Sky have dropped their last three.

The Sparks ended the first quarter with a three-point lead. A 10-1 run to start the second quarter opened up the game for Los Angeles. In the second half, the Sparks expanded their lead by as many as 25 points and the Sky never got closer than 15 points.

Riquna Williams scored a team-high 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Williams has made six three-points shots in her last two games after making five in her previous four.

Candace Parker scored 12 points, making the third-straight game in which she scored in double figures. Parker started slow after returning from a hamstring injury that forced her to miss the first seven games of the season.

Diamond DeShields was the game-high scorer with 23 points, but on 7-of-19 shooting. The famed backcourt of Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley combined for 16 points with their only shots made from the floor coming from the beyond the arc.

Vandersloot has experienced a slump that coincides with Chicago’s three-game skid. During the previous six games before the start of the losing streak, Vandersloot was averaging 14.2 points and shooting 48 percent; Chicago won five of those six games. Over the last three games, Vandersloot’s scoring has dropped to 5.3 points and her shooting is at 21 percent.

Going forward, both teams will need to improve their defensive consistency if they want to make the playoffs.

Saturday’s scores

Washington Mystics defeated the Connecticut Sun, 102-59

Las Vegas Aces beat the Indiana Fever, 102-97

Sunday’s scores

New York Liberty blew out the Atlanta Dream, 58-74

Dallas Wings eked past the Minnesota Lynx, 89-86

Phoenix Mercury edged past the Seattle Storm, 67-69

Where things stand

The Sky started the week in third place but slipped to seventh as their losing streak continued. The Storm find themselves in third place and just two games off their 2018 start despite being without three starters (Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd). The Mystics moved into first place following a blowout win over the fading Sun. The Mystics will take their five-game winning streak on the road for their next two games.