Indianapolis (May 22, 2018) – Coming off an emotional win against the Minnesota Lynx in Sunday’s opener, the Sparks went into Indiana and took care of business against the Fever, winning 87-70. The Sparks came out red hot in the first quarter, opening up a 19-point lead and finishing the quarter up 33-16. Nneka Ogwumike scored nine points in the opening frame and the Sparks shot 13-of-16 from the field.
After the Sparks extended the lead to 22 points, 2018 second overall pick draft Kelsey Mitchell sparked a second quarter run for Indiana, scoring nine points to cut the Sparks lead to 44-32 with 2:36 left in the period. Hind Ben Abdelkader chipped in with two 3-pointers during the spurt. The Sparks were able to stop the run, and went into halftime up 50-36, led by 15 points from Ogwumike, who took advantage of Fever center Natalie Achonwa picking up two early fouls and having to sit.
The Fever cut the lead to 58-51 towards the end of the third quarter as Mitchell continued her solid play.
“I liked how they played against Washington and I like how they played against us,” said Sparks Head Coach Brian Agler.
But Ogwumike continued to get baskets every time the Fever made a run, helping the Sparks take a 67-53 lead into the fourth quarter. She finished with a game-high and season-high 25 points.
The Fever did not go down quietly, continuing to hang around midway through the fourth, but the game never seemed in doubt and the Sparks ultimately cruised to their second victory of the season.
“Defensively we were active,” added Agler.
The Sparks were again without former MVP Candace Parker, who remains day to day with a minor back injury. In addition, centers Jantel Lavender and Maria Vadeeva remain overseas.
|LA SPARKS (2-0)||33||17||17||20||87||Ogwumike – 25||Ogwumike – 10||Gray – 8|
|INDIANA FEVER (0-3)||16||20||17||17||70||K. Mitchell – 18||Achonwa – 8||K. Mitchell – 4|
-The Sparks shot 81.3% from the field in the first quarter
-Nneka Ogwumike scored a season high 25 points
-Cappie Pondexter scored her first points as a member of the Sparks finishing the game with eight points
-Riquna Williams scored a season high 10 points
-The Sparks face the Connecticut Sun Thursday, May 24th at 7ET on ESPN 2