When the Los Angeles Sparks host the Chicago Sky on Saturday in a nationally televised WNBA game, they’ll be looking for a season sweep.
Los Angeles (3-3) recorded victories of 76-61 and 82-79 in Chicago last month. Of course, those matches were with Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike in the lineup. Both are absent for this game, as Nneka (left knee sprain) is away for 4-6 weeks and Chiney (right knee) is week to week.
Neither was necessary Thursday night when the Sparks beat struggling Indiana 98-63 in their first home game with fans since 2019. Kristi Toliver (22), Te’a Cooper (15) and Bria Holmes (14) recorded season highs in the goals column and Holmes set a single-game franchise record dropping over-39 in the over-minus odds.
Coach Derek Fisher was most pleased with a defensive effort that limited Indiana to 25.6 percent on shots in the first half.
“I think we have to be a disruptive team, which creates turnovers,” he said. “And we’ve done a better job of converting most of those opportunities tonight and hopefully we can take advantage of them as we move forward.”
Los Angeles must find ways to make up for Nneka Oguwmike’s 16.4 points and 7.0 rebounds, a game-high. LA got at least five points from the eight players who faced each other on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Chicago (2-6) is looking for some traction. Sky couldn’t find him Thursday night in Phoenix, where they spat out a late lead and fell in overtime, 77-74, for their sixth straight loss.
Kahleah Copper scored 14 points for the Sky, who had an eight-point lead in the third quarter, then took a 72-67 advantage in overtime before the Mercury finished with a 10-2 flurry.
Chicago will likely play again without star center forward Candace Parker (ankle), who has missed the last seven games after injuring herself in a season opener win last month in Washington.