Los Angeles Sparks get Revenge on the Washington Mystics

 Chelsea Gray tosses one of her 13 assists on her way to a triple-double in the Sparks win over the Mystics. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Chelsea Gray tosses one of her 13 assists on her way to a triple-double in the Sparks win over the Mystics. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com

Less than a month ago, the Los Angeles Sparks found themselves on the wrong end of a nearly 30-point blowout to the Washington Mystics. Just over a week ago the Mystics blew out the Connecticut Sun by over 40 points. This past Sunday the Sparks welcomed the Mystics into Staples to give them some of their own medicine.

Having been off for a week, the 6-6 Los Angeles Sparks welcome the 9-3 Washington Mystics into Staples Center this past weekend. In the game, the Sparks raced out to an 8-point lead to close out the first quarter, led by Nneka Ogwumike 14 points and Riquana Williams 10 points on their combined 7 for 10 shooting.

Having scored 52 points in their previous matchup with Mystics the Sparks finished the first half with 51 points. Largely in part to their collective 55% shooting from the 3-point line, led by the Nneka Ogwumike’s career-high 5 three-pointers. Their 51 points in the half, is also the most points they’ve scored in the first half of any game this season. The Mystics were able to narrow the lead behind the shooting of Kristi Tolliver and Aerial Powers combined 26 points and 50% shooting from the arc.

Both teams ratcheted up their defense in the third quarter, as the Sparks were limited to 23 points in that quarter while the Mystics were held to 11 points on 4 for 20 shooting. The Sparks shot 57.1% from the 3-point line as compared to 22.2% from the arc for the Mystics. It was apparent the Mystics struggled to score with Elena Delle Donne having left the game in the first half with an injury to her nose.

The starters paced the Sparks in the 4th quarter, by teaming up for 19 of the 24-points that was scored. In contrast, the bench lead, the Mystics with 16 points and their starters only scored 8 points in the final quarter. The Sparks also held the mystics to 25% shooting in the second half.

In the Sparks 450th win their floor general Chelsea Gray gained the 8th triple-double in WNBA history with her 10 rebounds, 13 assists, and 13 points. Coming off a blowout win last week, the Sparks appear to have hit their stride this season by getting their revenge on the Washington Mystics.

“Obviously, the loss Delle Donne early in the game; changes them offensively.” Derek Fisher was quick to point out in his post games press conference. In addition, he added, “We’ve gotten better over the past few weeks, by working on the things that Washington exposed in us, in the first matchup.” Coach Fisher also made it a point to wish Lisa Leslie a Happy Birthday and give her credit for her contribution the Sparks 450 wins as an organization.

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