Culver City Observer -

Sparks Battle Top WNBA Teams

 

G Laase

Alana - Candace - Kristi

The 10-0 Los Angeles Sparks basketball team of the WNBA will try to stay unbeaten when they play two of the best teams in the league, Phoenix and Minnesota starting tonight (Friday).

They will face Phoenix tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Minnesota at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday for a rare daytime game. Both games will be played at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The Sparks hope to continue to win games and add to their record-setting season. Their 10-0 start is the best in Sparks' history and if you add their three wins in the preseason they are actually 13-0 in 2016. Their 98-85 victory over the Chicago Sky last Tuesday at the Staples Center proved once again this team can beat you in several different ways.

When their defense is not great, like last Tuesday, they can always rely on their offense. Against Chicago five players scored in double figures. The Sparks were led by Nneka Ogwumike's 27 points and 12 rebounds. Candace Parker had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Kristi Toliver scored 16 points, Chelsea Gray had 12 points and Essence Carson scored 11 points.

"We have good players." said Sparks head coach Brian Agler after the win over Chicago. "We have several players that could be starting for us that are coming off the bench but we will be counting on all of our players to step up during the season. You need more than just one or two players to win basketball games."

Although the Sparks are undefeated in the 20th WNBA season their biggest test so far this year will be against Phoenix and Minnesota. Phoenix is off to a slow start at 4-6 but they still have two of the best players in the league in Dianna Taurasi and Brittney Griner. Also playing for Phoenix are two former UCLA players, rookie Nirra Fields and Noelle Quinn.

Minnesota is 11-0 and led by one of the best players in the league, Maya Moore and longtime WNBA veterans Seimone Augutus and Lindsay Whalen.

When it comes to great players in the WNBA, Ogwumike is right there at the top of the list. During their last two games she made 16 shots in a row. She was 12 for 12 against Dallas last Saturday and made her first four shots against Chicago Tuesday.

"She is having a great year," said Agler. "Her game is really developing and she is coming into the prime of her career. As good as she is on the court she is just as good as a person off the court. She is one of our leaders and she is also one of the best defensive players in the league."

The season is still early so the players are trying to keep everything in perspective. "We know what the big picture is," said Toliver. "We still have a long way to go but we have a good foundation this year."

 

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