Los Angeles, CA– The Los Angeles Sparks (12-6) dropped just only their second home game loss to the Connecticut Sun (10-7) 73-72 in what was a heated competition all the way to the last seconds of the game.
The contest was highlighted by the sibling rivalry of the Ogwumike sisters as they attempted to out-duel one another. The Sun power forward Chiney Ogwumike posted 21 points on 9-14 shooting with seven rebounds while the Sparks veteran power forward Nneka Ogwumike contributed 20 points on 7-12 from the field with five rebounds.
Connecticut jumped on the Sparks 18-8 in the first quarter lead by the combined scoring of Rachel Banham and Ogwumike combining for 16 of the Sun’s 18 first quarter points on 7/11 shooting.
They held Los Angeles to a season low eight points in the first quarter of play.
By halftime, the Sun were up 41-25 keeping Spark’s veteran Candace Parker scoreless while scoring 12 of their points in the paint versus the LA’s pressure trapping defense.
The third quarter was a different story as Parker scored 12 of her 17 points on 5-6 shooting kicking off a 11-1 run that brought the Sparks back into the game. That help close the gap to 54-51 as they outscored Connecticut 26-13 in the quarter.
The fourth quarter came down to the last two minutes of the game as the Sun’s Jasmine Thomas hit a huge 15-foot jump shot coupled with [Chiney] Ogwumike’s free throws to give them Sun a 68-67 lead with 1:15 left in the game.[Nneka] Ogwumike followed up with a crucial bucket of her own for the Spark’s with 51 seconds remaining. Thomas then hit a crucial three pointer with 40.5 seconds left on the clock to put the Sun up 71-69.
Next possession, [Nneka] Ogwumike scoring a go-ahead basket plus the foul with 27.9 left in the competition pushing the Sparks back in the lead, 72-71.
At the 18.5 mark, [Chiney] Ogwumike scored on a drive which turned out to be the last basket of the game placing Connecticut back up 73-72.
In a last ditch effort, the Los Angeles forward Ogwumike hits the back iron on a final attempt to end the contest as the Sun escaped with the road win.
Banham finished up with 11 points and six assists for the Sun while Chelsea Gray contributed to the Spark’s effort with 12 points (2-4 from behind the arch) and four rebounds.
In a WNBA Finals rematch, Los Angeles will be facing the Minnesota Lynx at the Target Center on July 5th.