Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Sparks lean on Nneka Ogwumike to down Storm

Field Level Media
04 Jun 2023, 14:40 GMT+10

Nneka Ogwumike scored 27 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds as the host Los Angeles Sparks weathered 37 points from Jewell Loyd in a 92-85 victory over the Seattle Storm on Saturday.

Los Angeles (3-2), playing the second game of a weekend back-to-back, broke a first-half stalemate in the third quarter to take a lead that grew to 11 points in the fourth.

But as the Sparks' advantage grew to double digits, Loyd did her part to keep winless Seattle in striking distance. She scored 11 points in a row for the Storm over a three-plus-minute stretch, which included her knocking down three of her eight made 3-pointers.

Loyd's torrid shooting paced Seattle to a 13-for-25 overall night from beyond the arc, compared to just 7-for-19 for Los Angeles.

At the end of Loyd's individual outburst, Jade Melbourne added a 3-pointer -- off one of Loyd's six assists -- to pull the Storm within four points.

Seattle (0-4) came no closer.

All of Los Angeles' final eight points came at the free-throw line to keep the Storm at bay and secure the Sparks' second win in as many nights. Los Angeles finished 23-for-27 at the charity stripe. Ogwumike made all 11 of her free-throw attempts.

The foul shooting, coupled with an 18-9 disparity in turnovers that favored Los Angeles, helped the Sparks secure the win. The Storm were just 12-for-16 at the free-throw line.

Layshia Clarendon finished with 16 points, six assists and three steals for the Sparks. Chiney Ogwumike added 15 points and another three steals, and Lexie Brown shot 4-for-10 from 3-point range en route to 14 points.

Ezi Magbegor pulled down a team-high nine rebounds to go with her 14 points for Seattle, while Melbourne reached double figures with 10 points off the bench thanks to a layup at the buzzer.

The teams were knotted at 39-39 heading into the break. Loyd had 13 points in the first half for Seattle, while Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 10.

--Field Level Media

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