Thanks to Jordin Canada’s 20-point and eight-assist game, the Los Angeles Sparks head into a week-long break on a three-game winning streak, their longest of the season. Saturday afternoon in LA, they beat the Atlanta Dream 85-74.
Canada may have been the star of the show, but it wasn’t a solo gig. Four of LA’s five starters scored in double digits, with Karlie Samuelson just missing the mark with nine points on the night. After the game, head coach Curt Miller praised his team’s performance, saying, “I think [it was] our most complete game and the biggest win of the season.”
LA will now get some much-needed rest as they find themselves just a half game out of the eighth and final playoff spot.
How the Sparks got it done
The game started rocky for the Sparks, with Atlanta leading the entire first half and up 46-38 at the halftime break.
“They won the first half in the physicality war,” Miller said postgame.
In the third quarter, the Sparks quickly established dominance, going on a 13-2 to run and taking their first lead of the night on a Karlie Samuelson 3-pointer. From there on out, it was all Los Angeles, with Azurá Stevens also nailing a 3 off a horns set assist from Canada. The Sparks outscored the Dream 24-11 in the quarter to take a 64-56 lead into the fourth.
Canada shined in the final ten minutes, starting the quarter with two steals and her own 5-0 run to give LA their largest lead of the night. Aari McDonald did her best to keep Atlanta in the game by scoring 11 of her 15 points in the fourth, but LA responded to every Atlanta run with an offensive burst.
Stevens’ pull-up jumper with under two minutes left officially put the game out of reach for Atlanta as the Dream failed to make another run and lost their second-straight game during their Western Conference road trip.
What a difference a week makes
It’s been a season filled with long injury reports and more losses than wins, but, with a three-game winning streak and a break looming, maybe Los Angeles is hitting their stride at the perfect time.
With 10 games left, LA can still make a push for the playoffs. If they go on a run and get a bit of luck, perhaps they can ascend as high as sixth in the standings. For opponents, the thought of playing against the Sparks in high-stakes games in September could be a scary proposition, as the early rounds of WNBA playoffs are three-game series and the Sparks have multiple players who are having career-best seasons.
A lot of work is left and one week doesn’t erase a year of disappointment. But, Los Angeles is playing their best basketball of the season, and the best time to do that is now.