Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Los Angeles continues streak with win over Minnesota, Candace Parker in control

Published on August 5, 2015

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The Los Angeles Sparks (6-14) continued their winning ways Tuesday night, winning a third consecutive game with an 83-61 victory over Minnesota (15-5), the top team in the league. The 22-point win marked the largest margin of victory this season and first 20- plus point victory for the Sparks since July 13, 2014 at Connecticut.

Since the All-Star break, the Sparks have moved from last place in the West to fourth. Candace Parker continued her dominance since her return to the team. She led four Sparks players in double figures with with 18 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks. It was her first home game of the season.

“It feels great,” she remarked about playing in Los Angeles. “Obviously, we knew this was a big game for us playing against Minnesota, the best team in the league. I think we came out and played aggressive, especially in the second half.”

Other Sparks players in double figures included Jantel Lavender (14 points, 10 rebounds), Nneka Ogwumike (13 points) and Alana Beard (10 points, 7 assists). Los Angeles is 3-0 at home when four players score in double-figures.

Only two Lynx players were in double figures: Maya Moore (13 points, five rebounds) and Lindsay Whalen (13 points, four rebounds). Moore, the league’s second leading scorer, was held scoreless in the second half, snapping her 11-game streak of 20-plus scoring performances. In her two previous games against the Sparks she averaged 24.5 points.

The Sparks continue their home stand hosting the Phoenix Mercury on Thursday. The Lynx continue their road trip to face Phoenix on Friday.

Notes

  • Following a basket by Toliver with 1:26 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Sparks led by 24, setting its largest lead of the season.
  • The Sparks snapped a three-game losing streak against the Lynx at Staples Center. The victory was the first home win against Minnesota since September 12, 2013.
  • Los Angeles set a season-high 54 points in the paint to Minnesota’s 22
  • The Sparks registered a season-high 12 steals. Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with a season-high four steals.
  • Candace Parker recorded her second double-double of the season with a game-high 18 points and 13 rebounds. She is averaging 19.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in four games.
  • For the fourth time in her career, Jantel Lavender recorded a career-high 13 rebounds. The forward finished with 14 points (7-11) and 13 rebounds for her league-leading 11 double-doubles.
  • Minnesota was handed its fifth loss of the season (15-5), falling to Los Angeles, 83-61. The loss also ended a three-game win streak for the Lynx.
  • Minnesota lost the turnover battle and committed 15 turnovers, compared to Los Angeles’ six turnovers.
  • The Lynx were held to a season-low 61 points, including another season-low of 26 second half points.

Quotes

Sparks head coach Brian Agler

 On Candace Parker

“Candace [Parker] is extremely talented. She can distribute just as much as she can score. When the ball is in her hands, she sees the floor well. She’ll move the basketball along and move herself being aggressive that way. She can really help our offense run and she did a really good job of that. She is doing a good job for us in that capacity.”

On the team’s offensive success

“When we move the basketball, we can be really good offensively. Sometimes we get stagnant. Sometimes everyone wants to be on the perimeter, and no one wants to be inside. We have got to have a good balance of both. We just want ball movement. We got to get the ball to the right people, but we want to play both sides of the floor and we want to play inside out.”

Sparks forward Candace Parker

On the Sparks’ playoff push…

“I think that we’re just happy to be back at home and on a win streak. We know every game is big for us, and any play can turn the season around. I think as long as we keep playing with that energy from everybody, then we will be successful.”

Sparks center Jantel Lavender

 On tying her career-high in rebounds

“I just went after the ball. I am just trying to do whatever I can for our team to win. If that’s boxing out and rebounding, then that’s what I’m going to do. Some offensive rebounds came. I was just pursuing the ball really hard for us to win this game. I knew we wanted to get on a three-­?game win streak, so it was important that all of us tuned in and did what we had to do in order to win.”

On the starting lineup’s chemistry

“I’ve been here for five years with Kristi [Toliver] and Candace [Parker]. We just know each other. We just play well off of each other. We know each of our tendencies, and it just works. Candace brings a different dynamic because the floor is a lot more spaced. We are getting a lot more cuts from the wing. It’s just easier and more open.”

Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve

 On tonight’s game

“It was a seven-point game in the fourth quarter with about eight minutes to go and we had the ball and we played terrible. We don’t underestimate them. The games we’ve played have been close, even without all their players. We’re fully aware that the Sparks are a good basketball team.”

On Candace Parker’s performance

“The game plan was not that much different. Parker is a great player. She was a great player when we saw her in Minneapolis, and she’s a great player here in Los Angeles. The team Ð concepts wise Ð we didn’t get the stuff done that we were trying to get them.”

Lynx forward Maya Moore

 On the Sparks’ defense…

“Overall, we weren’t the best we wanted to be as a team, defensively. We didn’t have a lot of good flow that we usually play with. We turned the ball over, and sparked their transition, and settled early for some quick shots. It was just a struggle to get into our offense. We weren’t able to get some of our passes. The little things costed us.”

On the Minnesota’s fourth quarter performance

Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen

 On the team performance

“We wanted to play better defense. We didn’t exactly get that done tonight. They did well to get their job done and we’ve still got some work to do.”

On the difference compared to the last two meetings with Los Angeles

“They played well. I give them credit. They forced us into some tough shots and we didn’t move the ball like we should have.”

By the Numbers

Points in the Paint: Lynx 22, Sparks 54
Second Chance Points: Lynx 6, Sparks 14
Fastbreak Points: Lynx 4, Sparks 6
Biggest Lead: Lynx 4, Sparks 24
Lead Changes: 2
Times Tied: 6

This post is part of the thread: 2015 WNBA Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


 

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