Surging Sparks visit Sun in quest of seventh straight win

Surging Sparks visit Sun in quest of seventh straight win

Jul 22, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike (30) brings the ball up court against the Dallas Wings during the second half at College Park Center.
Image: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Sparks will look to strengthen their playoff positioning on Sunday afternoon when they visit the Connecticut Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

While the Sun (23-11) reside in third place in the overall standings and already have clinched a playoff berth, the Sparks (15-18) find themselves a few spots lower but among the eight teams currently slotted to make the postseason.

Connecticut is led by Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner.

Thomas recorded her 24th double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 assists in a 95-90 overtime loss to New York Thursday. Bonner poured in 30 points to go along with 12 rebounds to move into a tie for seventh all-time on the WNBA scoring list with Sue Bird (6,803 points).

The contributions of Thomas and Bonner haven’t been lost on Sun coach Stephanie White.

“I think because of our leadership with those two in particular, our versatility and the pieces around them, we’re a scary team,” White told “Nobody wants to play us, and we still have a road to a championship. It’s a different road than we expected. But we still have an opportunity in front of us.”

While Connecticut has lost four of its past six games, Los Angeles is one of the hottest teams in the league with victories in each of its past six contests.

Nneka Ogwumike recorded her 100th career double-double on Friday by collecting 29 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Sparks to an 83-78 victory over the Atlanta Dream.

Los Angeles is in the playoff hunt despite battling injuries throughout the year. Lexie Brown is out with an unspecified non-COVID illness, Chiney Ogwumike is expected to be out at least another month with an ailing foot and Nia Clouden is sidelined with a knee injury.

“The injuries have very much put our backs against the wall and beat us down and drug us through the mud and forced us time and again to really be gut-checked this season and see how much willingness we have to get back up and keep fighting,” guard Layshia Clarendon said.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.