Los Angeles Sparks cool off the Sun

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 11: Nneka Ogwumike
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 11: Nneka Ogwumike /

Reigning MVP Nneka Ogwumike dropped a season-high 29 points Thursday night to help the Los Angeles Sparks to an 87-77 victory.  The defending champions improved to an 8-0 home record after dropping their last two games on the road.

The Sun closed out the first quarter with a 32-18 lead, their highest opening tally for the season.  However, the Spark would dominate the next two quarters to take a 69-57 lead into the final period. The Sun outscored the Sparks in the fourth and got within five points, but it was not enough to overcome Los Angeles. Jonquel Jones led Connecticut scorers with 20 points.

In the first half of the contest, Alana Beard recorded her 620th career steal. She now ranks fifth overall, passing Delisha Milton-Jones. Beard is only three steals shy of matching Katie Douglass for fourth place.

Thursday’s match proves each team has definite postseason potential. Los Angeles is perfect at home, and perhaps just hitting the stride expected of the 3-time WNBA championship franchise. On the other hand, the Sun have become road warriors and arrived at the top of the standings earlier than expected. The two teams will meet again on September 3 at the Staples Center.

The Sparks host Indiana and Chicago at home before the All-Star break. The Sun host San Antonio on Sunday, then face the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden Wednesday afternoon.