By the end of Thursday’s game between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Dallas Wings, it was hard to tell which team was supposed to be the shorthanded one.
But thanks to a strong second half, the home Sparks walked away with the 69-64 victory despite playing just seven players (plus new acquisition Karlie Samuelson for the last 10 seconds of the first quarter). It was Los Angeles’ third win in a row and sixth in its last seven games.
After leading by as many as 16 points and opening up a 42-32 halftime lead, the Wings were outscored 24-9 in the third quarter and never recovered. Dallas has yet to win a road game this season.
The Sparks were led by Nneka Ogwumike’s 22 points, 13 of which came in the pivotal third quarter. Chiney Ogwumike added 12 points, as did Marina Mabrey off the bench. Chelsea Gray rounded out the double-digit scoring with 11 points and added 9 rebounds. Every player who dressed for Los Angeles scored, with the exception of Samuelson.
Samuelson’s signing to a seven-day contract was announced on Thursday. She played most of last season with Los Angeles before being waived at the end of this season’s training camp.
Isabelle Harrison’s 14 points and 9 rebounds led the Wings, while Allisha Gray added 11 points off the bench. Like the Sparks, every player who saw minutes for the Wings scored.
Dallas led Los Angeles in rebounds, assists and blocks, but the Sparks went 19-of-21 from the free throw line to the Wings’ 5-of-5. Both teams shot under 40 percent from the floor.
Both the Sparks and Wings will be a part of NBA TV’s two-game slate this Saturday. The Sparks travel to face the Liberty at 3 p.m. ET, while the Wings are back home facing the Mercury at 8 p.m. ET.