Will the real Sparks team please stand up


Jerry Kelly

Former Windward high school and UCLA star is in her second year with the Sparks. Here she drives to the basketball during a recent home game against the Seattle Storm.

The Los Angeles Sparks has started this season off just like a roller coaster, high ups and very low downs. After eight games played the Sparks are 4-4 so far this season. Los Angeles has had some really nice wins like the two victories over the Phoenix Mercury and their 77-62, home victory last Friday night over the Chicago Sky at the Crypto.com Arena.

But the lows come from two loses to the two teams at the bottom of the WNBA standings, the Seattle Storm and the Minnesota Lynx. In both of those games the Sparks held a 4th quarter lead but came up short.

The Sparks led by as much as 11-points late in their loss Sunday night to the Lynx. "We battled but it puts a lot of pressure on Lexie (Brown) and Nneka (Ogwumike) to carry us when we aren't making shots in other positions," said Sparks coach Curt Miller about their tough loss in Minnesota. The Sparks have seen the continual all-star performances from Ogwumike and the emergence of Brown as a key offensive contributor so far, but like Sunday night sometimes it's not enough.

Injuries and illnesses have impacted the team as several key players have missed games during the early part of the season. One of the most devastating injuries occurred when guard Layshia Clarendon suffered a partial tear of the right plantar fascia Friday night and will be out for approximately four to six weeks. Clarendon was averaging 7.8 points and 3.7 assists in 26.7 minutes per game prior to the injury.

The team will be looking for the forward Dearica Hamby, guards Zia Cooke, Jordin Canada and Jasmine Thomas to step up and help get the team to the top of the standings.

The Sparks next five home games are Friday against Minnesota Lynx at 7 p.m. They face the Connecticut Sun on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. They play the Lynx again on Tuesday at 7 p.m. followed by two games against the Wings on Friday, June 23, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 25, at 12 noon.


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