Los Angeles – The Los Angeles Sparks clamped down to run away from the Indiana Fever, 80-62 Monday night.
Chelsea Gray led four Sparks in double figures with 16 points; Nneka Ogwumike added 14 points and 12 rebounds; Candace Parker, 14 points and nine rebounds; and Riquna Williams scored 10 points. It was the Fever’s fifth straight loss.
After a close first quarter, Los Angeles went on a 16-2 run in the second to inflate their lead, and their defense allowed Indiana only 12 points in the third period. The visitors went on a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull within nine points, but a Gray jumper and a steal and bucket by Williams put them back up by nine, and they didn’t look back.
Briann January scored 12 points for Indiana, and Erica Wheeler and Candice Dupree each added 11.
Sparks coach Brian Agler was pleased with his team’s second consecutive win, though he said they have work to do.
“I was really happy with the way we played defensively in the second half,” he said. “We moved the ball well, but we are still getting better. We are still trying to figure out our rotations a little bit.”
Fever coach Pokey Chatman said Los Angeles doesn’t get enough credit for the potency of their defense.
“I was pleased with some of the looks we got, and we didn’t complete some of (our) plays,” she said. “I thought we could have taken care of the ball a little bit better. We battled early on, but it just wasn’t enough. They are a team that the second you make a mistake, they punish you.”