The LA Sparks are in a crucial playoff battle to secure a spot in the playoffs. The entire season has been riddled with unexpected injuries, but Nneka, with a knee injury leading into the last home game, was not on our bingo card. The Washington Mystics have also struggled with injury this season as All-Star Elena Delle Donne just returned from a July 9th Ankle injury, and guard Kristie Toliver was carried off the court in today’s matchup.
The Washington Mystics are in the 6th seed spot, while the Sparks are tied with the Chicago Sky for the 8th playoff spot. As we approach the end of the season, the game’s physicality has intensified.
Here are my highlights of each half:
- Dearica Hamby has stepped up to help the team in the paint with 7 points and 3 Assists.
- Karlie Samuelson struggled to shoot effectively, shooting only 1-4 from the Floor.
- Azura Stevens took advantage of the defensive mismatches, scoring 7 points and asserting defensive pressure in the paint.
- Los Angeles led the half in rebounds
- Both teams were tied for 18 points in the paint
- Zia Cooke left the court with an injury
- Zia Cooke returned to the game in the second half
- Fouls started to work in the Sparks’ favor in the 4th Quarter
- Dearica Hamby continued the defensive pressure by putting pressure on Elena Delle Donne
- Jasmine Thomas scored 5 clutch points in the half
Earlier in the season, Coach Kurt Miller spoke about how vital shot efficiency will determine the success of the Los Angeles Sparks, and in the past 3 games, we’ve seen the Sparks get the extra pass and put pressure on the defense to guard them closer.
When most teams lose their star player hours before a must-win game to clutch a playoff spot, there might be a sense of defeat. The Los Angeles Sparks have shown us time and time again that they are a team that will compete no matter the circumstance. There are 3 spots left in the WNBA playoffs, and the Sparks are still in an excellent position to secure their playoff ticket.