Jantel Lavender had a season high of 17 points to lead all scorers in the Los Angeles Sparks’ win against the Las Vegas Aces 87-71 on Sunday (July 1).
The Sparks suffered a 16 point loss at the hands of the Aces on Friday (June 29) in Vegas (94-78). The loss lit a spark in the Sparks.
Nneka Ogwumike returned to the lineup after missing the past three games due to a back injury. In her absence in Friday’s matchup, the Aces’ A’ja Wilson dominated in the paint. From the time she stepped foot on the court, Ogwumike was aggressive on both sides of the ball.
Los Angeles scored 16 of their 30 first-quarter points in the paint. Chelsea Gray was 2-3 from the three-point line and the team was 4-8 from the field. Gray also recorded her 100th career steal in the quarter. The Sparks ended the quarter leading 30-20.
Odyssey Sims scored nine points and had three assists in her ten minutes of play in first half of the game.
The Sparks also forced the Aces to turn the ball over 11 times halfway through the first half. Los Angeles took advantage of the game by containing their rookie standout, Wilson. Wilson picked had just two points and picked up three early fouls. She was limited to nine minutes in the first half. The Aces struggled to find a rhythm with Wilson on the bench.
Los Angeles led Las Vegas 59-37 going into halftime. Twenty-three of those first-half points came from the Sparks’ bench in the first half as well.
The Sparks did a good job in keeping the Aces off the boards.
Wilson got into a small groove early in the third quarter as she scored five quick points. She would end the game with 10 total points.
The Aces cut the Sparks 27-point lead down to 16 in the third quarter. The quarter ended with the Sparks up 71-56. Lavender scored 13 of her 17 points within 17 minutes of gameplay off the bench going into the fourth quarter.
For the Aces, Tamera Young finished the game with a team-high 16 points and eight assists while Kayla McBride scored 13 points and Kelsey Plum scored 12 points.
The Sparks bench scored 37 of their 87 points in the game with the help of Lavender and Odyssey Sims. Sims had 10 points. Both Ogwumike and Candace Parker had 12 points while Gray finished with 13 points.
With this win, the Sparks are now 12-5 on the season and are 8-1 at home.