LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Sparks set a franchise record for 3-pointers made in a single season (242) and completed a sweep of the Minnesota Lynx to close out the 2019 regular season. Riquna Williams posted a team-high 15 points for Los Angeles in the 77-68 victory, while Napheesa Collier led all scorers with 16 points.
Williams blocked former Sparks teammate Odyssey Sims to open the Sparks’ last tune-up before the 2019 playoffs. Defensive Player of the Year candidate Tierra Ruffin-Pratt forced Sylvia Fowles into a turnover on Minnesota’s next possession, and Nneka Ogwumike capitalized for the game’s first basket. The Lynx then rattled off nine unanswered points to take an early lead, but Candace Parker and Chelsea Gray supplied a 15-4 run to end the quarter and give the Sparks a three-point edge. Ogwumike, Gray and Parker scored all of Los Angeles’ 19 first-quarter points.
Sydney Weise carried the Sparks throughout the first five minutes of the second quarter, but it was Parker that once again ignited the Los Angeles offense. With just under three minutes left in the half, Parker blocked Temi Fagbenle at the basket and dished out an assist to Weise on the other end of the court to kick off a 9-3 Sparks run. Los Angeles entered the break with a 36-34 lead after a tense first half.
The Sparks broke open the game at the start of the third quarter on the heels of a 6-0 Williams run. Williams scored 10 of the Sparks’ 22 third-quarter points on three 3-pointers, including a four-point play that sent the STAPLES Center crowd into a frenzy. The 3-point barrage broke the Sparks franchise record for 3-pointers made in a season and pushed the Los Angeles lead to 10. The Sparks would not relinquish the cushion for the remainder of the quarter.
Chiney Ogwumike stepped up for Los Angeles during the fourth quarter, scoring the team’s first nine points. No other Spark would score until Marina Mabrey completed a driving layup with just under four minutes to play. Collier, Lexie Brown and Damiris Dantas combined for a quick 15-point burst to cut the Los Angeles lead to six, but a Mabrey 3-pointer iced the Lynx with 27 seconds remaining to seal the Sparks’ fourteenth consecutive home win. Los Angeles owns a league-best 15-2 home record with the victory and will enter the WNBA Playoffs as the number three overall seed.