Los Angeles Sparks Schedule Preview: June 12 - June 17

Los Angeles is currently 5-2 on the season. This week they'll see their first road game in nearly two weeks and their first-round pick from Russia joins the team.

So far this season the Los Angeles Sparks have played well enough to notch them five wins in the W column. But last Thursday they added a second loss in the L column when facing off against the Seattle Storm.

The loss to the Storm came three games into a five-game homestand. To start the game the Sparks looked defeated - there was no energy from the team and they were plagued by turnovers - and found themselves down 24-9 to end the first quarter. The second half of play didn’t look much better, when they allowed Storm to start on a 17-6 run. Nneka Ogwumike finished with 19 points, while Candace Parker was benched halfway through the third quarter and didn’t return to the floor. Final score: 88-63.

Sunday the Sparks came back with a vengeance against the Chicago Sky. The Sparks never trailed in the game and Parker put on an offensive showcase in the win; scoring 24 points and three blocks. The Sky made the game easy for the Sparks, shooting only 21 of 74 in the matchup. Ogwumike finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Chelsea Gray added 15 for the Sparks.

Tuesday, June 12: vs. Atlanta Dream

The Sparks will play their first game against the Dream. This will mark the final of five straight home games for the Sparks. The Dream so far this season are 5-3 - but that’s not the scary part - they’re currently on a three-game win streak and they beat the no. 1 Connecticut Sun. In order for the Sparks to compete in the matchup, Parker and Ogwumike will have to be aggressive. The team overall will have to limit their turnovers, especially since Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry is so good with jumping the passing lanes.

Friday, June 15: vs. Washington Mystics

The Sparks will be back on the road playing the Washington Mystics who sit at 5-4, currently. In this matchup, the Sparks will have to defend the 3-point line, as the Mystics tie for second in the league for threes made. The Sparks will need a win here on the road before heading to Chicago.

Sunday, June 17: @ Chicago Sky

Expect Chicago to play better at home against the Sparks than they did on the road. The Sparks played an excellent game the first go-round, but they didn’t defend the paint very well. Cheyenne Parker had a career game at Staples Center with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Los Angeles’ bigs should have her noted on this week’s scouting report.

Throughout the week, the Sparks can only hope that their first-round pick, Maria Vadeeva will see some playing time. The 19-year-old, 6-foot-4 rookie center, joined the Sparks last week. She’ll provide some paint protection and assist the team in rebounding. Expect her to learn closely from Ogwumike as they are teammates on Dynamo Kursk in Russia.

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