Thursday, February 20th, 2020

Seattle Storm triumph over Western Conference rival Los Angeles Sparks, 68-61

Published on July 15, 2015


WNBA president Laurel Richie and Jewell Loyd at the 2015 WNBA Draft. Photo:  Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images.

WNBA president Laurel Richie and Jewell Loyd at the 2015 WNBA Draft. Photo: Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images.

Box score

Rookies Jewell Loyd and Ramu Tokashiki led Seattle (4-12) in a win over Los Angeles 68-61 on Wednesday afternoon at KeyArena. The win snapped a five-game losing streak and was the third time this season Seattle has beaten the Sparks.

Seattle trailed for much of the game but Tokashiki helped the Storm turn the tables in the third when she hit a jumper from the wing to make it a one-point game. It was followed with a steal and a fastbreak layup for Loyd to take a 41-40 lead. It was one of 25 turnovers forced by Seattle and two of the team’s 26 points off turnovers. Loyd led the team with 13 points and Tokashiki chipped in with 10.

After a pair of free throws from Alysha Clark,  Seattle had a 43-40 lead. Later in the quarter, Los Angeles went on a 6-0 burst with two straight baskets from Erin Phillips to cut the Storm lead to one but the run was halted when Sue Bird found Renee Montgomery in the right corner for a three to push the advantage back to four.

The Storm took its largest lead of the night out of the gates in the fourth when Abby Bishop hit a three to make it a 59-50 game. Both offenses went cold after that but Los Angeles managed to close within five with 4:22 left.

While it was the younger players that got the Storm the lead, it was the veterans that closed it out. Jumpers from Clark, Crystal Langhorne, and one from Bird with 1:31 left put the game out of reach.

Seattle held the Sparks to 30.8 percent shooting in the fourth and forced six turnovers. Nneka Ogwumike, who came in averaging 18.5 points, was held to 12 points and a mere four in the second half.

It was only the second start of the season for Tokashiki and the decision was partially made by Bishop, who she replaced in the lineup.

Ogwumike led the Sparks (2-11) with her 12 points plus seven rebounds. Temeka Johnson added 11 plus six assists. Kristi Toliver finished with 10 points. Candace Parker is expected to return to the Sparks after the All-Star break. Injuries continue to sideline Farhiya Abdi (left knee) and Alana Beard (left foot).

Seattle returns to action Saturday when the team hosts Atlanta. The Sparks return home for a Camp Day afternoon game against Atlanta.


  • Seattle scored 21 points during the third quarter with contributions from seven Storm players
  • 3 Storm players scored in double figures including Jewell Loyd with 13, Crystal Langhorne with 12, and Ramu Tokashiki with 10
  • Seattle had 15 team steals and Crystal Langhorne tallied 5 of them
  • Seattle capitalized on offensive boards scoring 15 second chance points to the Sparks’ 5
  • The Storm shot 81.3 percent from the free throw line going 13-­?for-­?16
  • The Storm had 3 players score in double figures. Nneka Ogwumike had 12, Kristi Toliver had 10, and Temeka Johnson had 11
  • Tameka Johnson scored 8 of her 11 points during the second quarter
  • The Sparks had 30 points in the paint to the Storm’s 20 points in the paint
  • Los Angeles shot 57.7 percent from the field in the first half and ended the game shooting 49 percent from the field overall


Storm head coach Jenny Boucek

(On the team’s depth)

“For us, it doesn’t matter who is starting the game. We have 12 players that can really play in this league. Our rotations are looking different on different nights. Once we find groups that are getting rhythms, we try to ride them as much as possible. We have great depth. Even the three players that didn’t play tonight are playing very well. You can’t play 12.”

(On defense against LA)

“We stuck with what we were doing. I thought our defense overall was very solid. The first quarter took us a little while to get a feel for them, in particular Ogwumike. Neither Tok nor Abby had played against her before and I thought throughout the game they made good adjustments to make Ogwumike work for what she was getting. They went big for a while and I thought Alysha Clark did an incredible job on Ogwumike during that stretch, which was a part of our change in momentum also.”

(On Jewell and Ramu playing with each other)

“They both play at a speed that can go to another level. I think when they’re in a game together, they feed off each other’s energy, especially their speed down the floor. They know there is going to be at least one other person running with them. I think they’re gaining some confidence from the fact that they know they can run.”

Storm guard Jewell Loyd

(On discussions during the fourth quarter)

“Stay poised. Keep our composure. Just play free. At times we were stagnant a little bit but we made good decisions down the stretch.

(On having Ramu in the starting lineup)

“Any time you get to play with someone that you love, you get excited. I love playing with Tok. I love playing with everyone on this time. Good chemistry all around.”

Sparks head coach Brian Agler

(On the game overall)

“We wanted to come in here an play really well. I thought we did a lot of good things in the first half, we shot the ball well, played efficiently and our defense was getting better. Then we got stagnant on offense and we turned the ball over a lot in the second half. We didn’t get the chance to get our defense set.”

(On what went wrong in the second half)

“I think turning the ball over, Seattle really did a good job of attacking us, putting us in pick and rolls and we didn’t play quite as well. I thought when we got our defense set, we were pretty effective, but we didn’t shoot the ball well in the second half and we turned the ball over.”

Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike

(On what went well)

“I think in the beginning we came out with a lot of aggression, and we were able to read the defense better. I think we did a good job in the first half of controlling the game.”

(On preparation going into the game)

“We just wanted to be more set in our defensive scout and I thought we did a great job of that throughout the game. We stuck to what coach implemented for us and we were playing tendencies and I thought we did a pretty good job.”

(On the momentum shift in the second half)

“They made the adjustments based on what we were doing on offense, and defensively that kind of trickled into what we were trying to do to stop them. We just didn’t make the right reads, in terms of how they were defending us in the second half, they congested us a little bit more.”

Sparks guard Temeka Johnson

(On the game overall)

“The first couple minutes of the game, we started out really well, but Seattle has veterans and young talent and they came out and capitalized on our mistakes.”

(On identifying areas of improvement)

“We kind of got away from what we were doing. They made some adjustments and we didn’t do a good job of responding to them. When we go back and watch the film, we will find a lot of things that we’ll be able to clean up. Offensive rebounds, allowing a team with that much talent extra opportunities is never good, turnovers of course, just to name a few.”

By the Numbers

Points in the Paint: Sparks 30, Storm 20
Second Chance Points: Sparks 5, Storm 15
Fastbreak Points: Sparks 0, Storm 2
Biggest Lead: Sparks 12, Storm 9
Lead Changes: 1
Times Tied: 6


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