The Los Angeles Sparks and Atlanta Dream faced off on Thursday evening for their final match-up of the season at the Gateway Center Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The Sparks scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, ultimately defeating Atlanta, 74-68. Nneka Ogwumike led her team with 15 points and 10 rebounds, her second double-double of the season. Four Sparks scored in double figures: Brittney Sykes (17), Nneka Ogwumike (15), Te’a Cooper (14), and Nia Coffey (10). Atlanta Dream Guard Tiffany Hayes led all scorers with 25 points and Courtney Williams recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Due to early foul trouble for Erica Wheeler, Rookie Arella Guirantes also stepped up with 7 points and 3 assists in tonight’s game.
The Dream came out shooting in the first quarter. However, Cooper and Sykes scored a combined 16 points, playing the entirety of the quarter. The Sparks made the most of Atlanta’s 4 turnovers with 7 points off their lost possessions, but ended the first quarter down 21-20.
Los Angeles went on a 14-0 run and created a 9 point lead 4 minutes into the second quarter. Soon after, the Dream went on a 14-3 run and outrebounded the Sparks 22-14 in the first half, while shooting 12/14 from the free throw line. Thanks to points off the bench from Coffey and Guirantes, the Sparks were able to take a 34-31 lead into the half.
After going scoreless for almost seven minutes in the second quarter, the Dream and Courtney Williams kicked off the 3rd quarter with a driving layup. Atlanta turned the ball over 10 times and LA scored 15 points off those turnovers. Wheeler had another deadly crossover that sent Odyssey Sims backward to score a pullup jumper. Coffey quickly followed with a three-pointer that started from a steal by Guirantes. The Sparks were able to continue their lead to close the 3rd quarter, 53-49.
Both offenses traded points back and forth in the fourth quarter, with the Sparks leading by eight points with 50 seconds remaining. The Dream weren’t able to recover, and the Sparks avoided elimination, 74-68.
The Sparks travel to Dallas to take on the Wings in their last regular season game at the College Park Center on Sunday, September 19th at 2:00 pm PT.