Sparks Drop Road Trip Finale to Wings

The Los Angeles Sparks fell to the Dallas Wings 79-69 on Tuesday night to end their three-game road trip with a 2-1 record. Kristi Toliver led the Sparks with 14 points, shooting an efficient 5-for-6 from the field and 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. Nneka Ogwumike totaled 10 points and four rebounds and Te’a Cooper contributed 12 points and five assists in her first start of the season.

The Sparks got off to a fast start when Kristi Toliver nailed a 3-pointer to give the Sparks a three-point lead. Te’a Cooper made a swift assist to Nneka Ogwumike for a layup to extend the Sparks lead to 16-7 midway through the first.

After a Marina Mabrey 3-pointer cut the Sparks lead to 16-12, a Brittney Sykes driving layup and an Amanda Zahui B. 26-foot 3-pointer gave the Sparks a 21-14 lead. LA would end the first first quarter up 21-16.

Although the team started with great momentum, during the second quarter, the Wings rallied behind a balanced attack from Kayla Thornton, Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale to outscore the Sparks 22-7 in the second quarter and take a 38-28 lead into the half.

In the third quarter, the Sparks put pressure early with a steal turned into a layup by Erica Wheeler. Toliver followed quickly with a steal of her own and tossed a dime to Cooper for the start of a 4-0 run less than a minute into the 3rd quarter. The Sparks were within six points at 38-32.

The Wings responded quickly and built a 13-point lead led by Charli Collier and Tyasha Harris. Amanda Zahui B. made a long 3-pointer to cut the lead to six, but the third quarter ended with a Harris triple to give the Wings a nine-point advantage at 54-45. Thornton led all scorers with 11 points in the third.

In the 4th quarter, Ty Harris hit the last two of her career high of four 3-pointers and scored 10 points on the way to a career-high 18 points. The Sparks swiftly tried to close the gap as Bria Holmes hit her first 3-pointer of the season but ultimately fell to Dallas 79-69.

Four Sparks scored in double figures: Kristi Toliver (14), Te’a Cooper (12), Nneka Ogwumike (10), and Amanda Zahui B. (10). They combined 46 of the team’s 69 total points.

The Los Angeles Sparks host the Indiana Fever at the LA Convention Center on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. PT on Spectrum SportsNet.