Round one, game two: top seeds back on top

It was redemption night for higher-seeded Los Angeles and Atlanta, who lost Thursday. Tonight both teams won in their opponent’s houses:

The Dream dominated the Mystics, 63-45.

The Sparks beat the Mercury, 82-73. MVP Candace Parker lead the winners with 31 points and 11 rebounds, and Nneka Ogwumike added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Many of the issues I noted in last night’s Sparks analysis were addressed/fixed tonight. First and foremost, they were motivated from tipoff, and played with urgency. They got after loose balls, rebounds, and they pickpocketed and stripped Phoenix of the ball several times. The rotations made sense, which I suppose was easier in that coach Carol Ross played only seven. The Sparks used their transition game – one of their strengths – early on. And they played as a team. They did a good job, in a hostile environment.

Deciding games in both series will be Monday night.

More on the playoffs:

Fever guard/forward Katie Douglas will miss the playoffs with a bulging disc in her lower back. It’s the same injury that’s kept her out most of the season.

The play of teammate Shavonte Zellous will help fill that void.