Defending WNBA Champion Sparks Open with Win
Beat Seattle Storm 78-68
May 11, 2017
The Los Angeles Sparks raised the franchise's third WNBA championship banner and began their quest for another title as they beat the Seattle Storm 78-68 last Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.
Last season the Sparks defeated the Minnesota Lynx in five games for the 2016 WNBA Finals. They now have a chance to become the first team to win back-to-back WNBA titles since they claimed consecutive championships way back in 2001 and 2002.
But Coach Brian Agler warned against fan and player complacency saying that this year's team will have to forge its own path.
Agler added, "Seasons are never the same. When you win a championship, you think back on the things you were fortunate that went your way. Whether it's health, hitting big shots or how the schedule played out. Even with a lot of the same people returning, your team changes. Other teams also change. So I don't think about it as 'repeating.' You just try to focus on winning this season."
Nneka Ogwumike scored 23 points and center Tiffany Jackson-Jones had 8 points and 8 rebounds. The Sparks' newest trade acquisition, Odyssey Sims scored 20 points on 9 of 15 shooting. Chelsea Gray hit 14 points and The Sparks' "Defensive Dynamo," Alana Beard had five steals. Seattle's Jewell Loy led all scorers with 25 points.