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Recaps: Sparks force 28 turnovers, earn first win of 2021

The Los Angeles Sparks beat the Chicago Sky for their first victory of the season. The Storm and Aces won easily over the Lynx and the Fever, respectively. The Sun earned their sixth win of the season by defeating the Mystics.

Los Angeles Sparks v Chicago Sky
Erica Wheeler
Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Sparks (1-2) earned their first win of the season by defeating the Chicago Sky (2-3) 76-61. Nneka Oguimike led the Sparks with 14 points and nine rebounds while Diamond DeShields led the Sky with 14 points.

The Sky jumped out to an 11-4 lead but the Sparks would take a 20-19 lead with just under two minutes left in the first quarter on a Te’a Cooper basket. The Sparks would never relinquish the lead for the rest of the game and would lead by as much as 21.

Erica Wheeler had a season highs of 13 points and six assists for the winners while Brittney Sykes came off the bench to score 11 points to go along with five rebounds and five steals. For the Sky, Ruthy Hebard and Kahleah Copper reached double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Both teams were undisciplined with the ball, as Los Angeles committed 20 turnovers while the Sky committed a franchise-high 28 turnovers. The Sparks scored 31 points as a result of those turnovers while the Sky generated just 16 points.

Other action

Connecticut Sun (6-1) over Washington Mystics (3-3), 86-81

The Connecticut Sun were led by Jonquel Jones’ 20 points and 12 rebounds. It was her sixth-straight double-double and third 20-point game of the season. Jasmine Thomas scored a season-high 19 points and was 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Additionally, DeWanna Bonner recorded her first double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

The game’s high-scorer was Tina Charles with 29 points, which ended her streak of consecutive 30-point games at three but extended her streak of 20-point games to five.

The Sun held the Mystics to 31 percent shooting in the second half.

Connecticut head coach Curt Miller on Jasmine Thomas: “Big shooting night for her. Obviously a lot of attention to our inside game, a lot of rotations by Washington allowed us to get extra swing passes and Jas was the recipient numerous times trying to catch them coming out of rotations. She stepped up big and made a lot of big, open threes and we really needed them tonight.”

Jasmine Thomas on inside-out game getting going: “That’s out philosophy here is to play inside-out. We don't want to settle for threes and we honestly feel like we make them at a higher clip when we are playing inside and out. So credit that to DB, JJ, Breezy (Brionna Jones) getting the ball inside the paint, really demanding a lot of attention down there and the rest of us just really being ready to knock down open shots.”

Jonquel Jones on coming back from down 16-5: “We don't panic. That’s one thing I’ve realized about this team even though the season’s been really short so far. We don't panic. And I think when we get into those situations we understand that we have all the tools necessary in order to pull ourselves out of those trenches.”

DiJonai Carrington (10 points, including the Sun’s first five) on setting the tone offensively: “All my life I’ve been a scorer so I think going into the game I saw that we were struggling to score and I felt like that was something that we needed a spark with. So that was kind of what I tried to do when I came in.”

Seattle Storm (5-1) over Minneosta Lynx (0-4), 82-72

The Storm never trailed and led by as much as 30. They dominated the paint, outscoring the Lynx 56-28. Breanna Stewart and Sylvia Fowles were the game-high scorers with 15 points apiece.

The Storm opened up their large lead by winning the second quarter 31-13. Entering the final frame, Seattle held a 77-50 lead. Candice Dupree would score the Storm’s final basket with eight and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, giving the team an 82-53 lead. Dupree finished with 12 points. The Lynx would end the game on a 19-0 run as the Storm’s starters sat out the fourth quarter.

Seattle head coach Dan Hughes on fourth quarter: “We didn't play a complete game. ... I think they were coming at us and we didn't handle it quite as well as I’d like to have seen it. But I did like the fact (the bench players) were on the court. I did like the fact they got minutes. I did like the fact I didn't have to overplay some of the players. We’ve been in two overtime games.”

Breanna Stewart on pulling away: “The second quarter I think our defense really dictated what we did offensively. We were able to turn them over a lot, we were able to get defensive rebounds and really just push to the point where it’s difficult for them to match up if we’re running in transition every time and not really calling plays.”

Candice Dupree on winning more comfortably this time: “It’s never fun to go into overtime, but the fact we were able to close those two out was great. So it’s nice to have a game where we had a huge lead early on, had an opportunity to get the starters some rest and get the bench players a little more action.”

Las Vegas Aces (4-2) over Indiana Fever (1-6), 113-77

Dearica Hamby came off the bench for the Las Vegas Aces to be the game-high scorer with 25 points. All five starters for the Aces reached double-figure scoring, including A’ja Wilson who scored 23 points. Chelsea Gray recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 assists.

In the loss, Tiffany Mitchell led the Fever with a season-high 17 points and Teaira McCowan recorded her third double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Aces did not score the first basket of the game but would take a 4-2 lead en route to their blowout win, opening up a lead as large as 43 points.