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Sparks Update: A stormy week in Los Angeles

A pair of games against the Seattle Storm told two different tales about where the Los Angeles Sparks are at this point of the season.

Los Angeles Sparks v Seattle Storm
Azurá Stevens
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Sparks had back-to-back matchups against the Seattle Storm on Saturday and Tuesday, with the first matchup demonstrating how they can win a tough game and protect home court and the other being an utter collapse. Add up all the positives and negatives of 2023 and L.A. is even at 3-3 six games in.

The Sparks' 92-85 win on Saturday was impressive for multiple reasons. One, Los Angeles had just played a tough overtime game against the Phoenix Mercury the night before. Two, they were able to dominate the boards and stayed in control of the game for most of the second half. And even with Jewell Loyd dominating with a 37-point performance, L.A. was able to force her to go 0-of-3 in the closing minute to secure the victory.

Tuesday was the same matchup but the result was different. L.A. fell to Seattle 66-63 following a second-quarter collapse where the Sparks gave up their 21-point advantage.

So how did L.A. blow a 21-point lead on the road giving Seattle its first win of the season? One word: turnovers.

The Sparks committed 23 in the game and 12 in the second quarter, where they were outscored 29-14 and saw their lead dwindle to just three at halftime.

The Sparks still had a chance late, but Seattle just played better in the final two minutes to pull off the second-biggest comeback in franchise history.

Injury bug

One key player missing from the Sparks’ lineup in their defeat on Tuesday was Chiney Ogwumike. She was ruled out late on Tuesday with a foot injury/illness. Injuries are a part of every season, but the Sparks have been unable to have every key rotation player available for a game. Hopefully, that changes soon and we can see what Curt Miller and company can do with a completely healthy roster.

Upcoming games

This weekend the Sparks have two games on their schedule, with the first being against the surprising 5-3 Chicago Sky on Friday at home. Chicago has found success with Kahleah Copper averaging 18.3 points per game; she is helping to ensure Skytown doesn’t go through a rebuild in 2023.

The second matchup on Sunday pits the Sparks against the Lynx in Minnesota. This game is easier on paper as the Lynx are 1-6 and their sole bright spot has been Napheesa Collier, who has done everything except sell the popcorn to keep this team competitive. While the game may seem like an easy win, if the Sparks have learned anything from these past couple of games it’s that anyone can beat anyone on any given day. And if L.A. wants to get above .500 this weekend, they’ll have to bring the appropriate focus to both games.