The Los Angeles Sparks fell to the Washington Mystics in the first of three meetings this season, 89-71.
Te’a Cooper led the Sparks with 11 points and Kristine Anigwe chipped in 7 points and 9 rebounds in her first appearance for the Sparks. Amanda Zahui B. hit a career milestone of 500 defensive rebounds and Erica Wheeler hit 600 career assists.
The Sparks started off slow, trailing the Mystics by six points in the first few minutes of the quarter. After the first Sparks timeout, Amanda Zahui B. was able to put some points on the board with a clean fadeaway shot. The Sparks were still missing the Ogwumike sisters due to injuries. Standing in under the hardship exception, Sparks center Kristine Anigwe made her season debut putting three points on the board for the Sparks in her early minutes. The Sparks ended the first quarter trailing the Washington Mystics 23-14 as Mystics guard Ariel Atkins scored 10 first-quarter points.
The Sparks scored the first four points of the second quarter cutting the Mystics lead to 23-18. Erica McCall reeled in her 100th career rebound in the 2nd quarter. The Mystics maintained that 10-point lead ending the first half 45-35.
Sparks forward Nia Coffey started the 3rd quarter off with a layup followed by two three-point jumpers from Erica Wheeler and a layup from Bria Holmes. The Sparks momentum wasn’t enough to catch the Mystics. Washington increased their lead to 14 points with three minutes to play.
Mystics Theresa Plaisance opened the 4th quarter with back-to-back three pointers pushing the Mystics to a 24-point lead, their largest lead of the night.
The Mystics shot 42.3% from the field, 42.3% from three and pulled away with an 18-point win.
“There’s going to be a night where you’re going to come up short, especially on the road. You can’t hold your head down, it’s a part of learning as a group,” said General Manager/Head Coach Derek Fisher after the game.
The Los Angeles Sparks will continue to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Lynx for the first time this season on Saturday, June 12 at 5 p.m. PT on Bally Sports North and LeaguePass.