Jordin Canada scored the final four points of a 76-74 Los Angeles Sparks victory over the Dallas Wings Friday night at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. She finished with 18 points and six assists while Nneka Ogwumike overcame a slow start to finish with 20 points and seven rebounds and hardship contract player Destanni Henderson showed that she most definitely belongs in the league with 18 points.
Henderson had a handful of games like this as an Indiana Fever rookie last year where she showed her potential, and it’s befuddling that teams don’t see the star she could become.
The Wings led by as much as 17.
Canada drove on Arike Ogunbowale and flipped up a shot while falling down that tied the game at 74 with 1:38 remaining. She then made two free throws at 54.7 seconds that gave the Sparks (6-7) the 76-74 lead. At 30.7 seconds, N. Ogwumike was called for fouling Natasha Howard on a 3-point shot, but the play was reviewed and reversed to a shot clock violation. The Sparks then ran the clock down to 9.6 seconds, at which point Canada had a shot from just inside the free throw line go in and out. Dallas point guard Crystal Dangerfield ended up with the ball and dribbled all the way down the court before missing a floater that would have tied it at 1.5 seconds remaining. The Wings couldn’t get off another shot.
Howard had 23 points and 12 rebounds in defeat while Satou Sabally added 13 and 11 to go along with three assists and two steals. Ogunbowale was good for 12 first-quarter points, but just four more the rest of the game.
Dearica Hamby led LA with 10 boards. The Sparks overcame 35.1 percent shooting from the field and a 2-of-18 effort from beyond the arc.
The Wings fell to 6-7.
New York Liberty (8-3) over Atlanta Dream (5-7), 110-80
The Liberty made 17 threes (12 more than the Dream) and saw Betnijah Laney, Jonquel Jones, Marine Johannès, Courtney Vandersloot, Breanna Stewart and Kayla Thornton all reach double-figure scoring. Sabrina Ionescu added eight points.
Vandersloot had perhaps the best stat line (16 points, 11 assists, seven steals) while Breanna Stewart also neared triple-double territory with 13 points, 11 rebounds and six helpers. Stewart is still searching for her first career triple-double, and this could be the year, as she’s averaging career bests in points, rebounds and assists per game.
Laney notched a team-high 19 points while J. Jones was good for 18 and nine boards. Laney was 4-of-8 from three; J. Jones was 2-of-3. Johannès was 5-of-7 and finished with 18 points. Thornton was 2-of 3. Ionescu was just 1-of-5, but managed six rebounds and four assists in her first game back from a hamstring injury.
Atlanta’s Laeticia Amihere was accidentally elbowed in the nose by New York’s Stefanie Dolson and went back to the locker room briefly. She later returned to the bench. Also later, Dolson rolled her ankle and had to be helped of the court.