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Preview: Sparks look to keep rising against falling Wings

Now tied for the best winning streak in the WNBA, Los Angeles can slide into a fourth-place tie with the Minnesota Lynx if they win today in Dallas.

Washington Mystics v Los Angeles Sparks
Nneka Ogwumike scored a season-high 31 points in the Sparks’ win over the Mystics on Sunday.
Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

For a while, it looked like the Los Angeles Sparks were in free fall, dropping four straight games and often by wide margins. But since June 27, the Sparks have had quite the opposite experience, beating the Las Vegas Aces, Chicago Sky and Washington Mystics in a wildly successful homestand where just about everything went right.

The Sparks will need to keep that momentum alive today as they hit the road again. On paper, the competition doesn’t look tough: They’ll face the Dallas Wings, Indiana Fever and Atlanta Dream, also known as the bottom three teams in the league. The prospect of a road sweep (and therefore doubling their win streak) is daunting, but it’s also a real possibility.

While today’s opponent, the Wings, have had myriad struggles of their own this season, all four of their wins have come at home. That doesn’t mean they’re invincible there — their home record is just barely over .500 at 4-3 — but it’s very clearly the only place they’re comfortable playing. Most recently, the Wings have taken down the Connecticut Sun and Minnesota Lynx at College Park Center. Both teams are ahead of the Sparks in the standings.

Plus, team-high rebounder Glory Johnson made her return to the Wings from international duty in their last game, and should assume a bigger role as she eases back into WNBA play.

The Sparks would love a blowout this afternoon to prove they can maintain the consistency they established at home. But can the Wings put together the necessary defense to stop them at home?

Here’s how to watch the game and find out:

Game information

Los Angeles Sparks (7-6) at Dallas Wings (4-9)

When: Tuesday, July 9, at 1 p.m. ET

Where: College Park Center, Arlington, TX

How to watch: Twitter

Keys to the matchup: The Sparks’ shooting has been deadly during their winning streak: They’ve made 48.6 percent of their shots, including 46.6 percent from three (on a league-best average of 11.3 made threes per game). Maintaining this aspect of their game should put them over the top, especially since the Wings’ two-game skid has seen them come in last in the league in points per game, field goal percentage and three-point percentage. To have a chance, Dallas will need to activate whatever offensive effort they’ve been neglecting and find a way to shut down L.A.’s offense.