Los Angeles wins fourth straight, routs Tulsa 84-57
The Los Angeles Sparks (7-14) dominated the Tulsa Shock, 84-57, Thursday night at Staples Center for a fourth straight victory. The 27-point advantage was the largest margin of victory this season for the Sparks. For the Shock, the defeat marked their eight consecutive loss.
The Sparks took control in the first quarter, leading by as much as 10. In the second quarter, Los Angeles continued to pummel Tulsa (10-12), outscoring the Shock 23-16. At the break, the Sparks led 41-26. The second half was more of the same with the Sparks widening their lead. With about three minutes left in the contest, Los Angeles had a 31-point advantage after free throws from rookie guard Crystal Bradford.
Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 26 points plus five rebounds. She is averaging 22.3 points per game. Alana Beard scored 13 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out five assists. Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver added 10 points each. Parker also had 12 rebounds and six assists.
Plenette Pierson was the only player in double figures for the Shock with 14 points plus five rebounds.
The Sparks hit the road to play league-leading Minnesota on Sunday. The Shock go home to host the Atlanta Dream on the same day.
- The Sparks shot 54.0% from the field and are now 3-0 at home when the
team shoots better than 50.0%.
- With the win, the Sparks have now scored 80 or more points in each of the four victories
since the All-Star break.
- The Sparks held the Shock to 10 points in the first quarter, a tied season-low by a Sparks
- The Sparks notched a season-high 43 rebounds compared to the Shock’s 27. Tulsa is
second in the league in rebounds per game (36.6 rpg).
- Overall, Tulsa was held to a new season-low 26.2% (17-65 FG) field goal shooting.
- Tulsa scored 57 points in tonight’s loss, the Shock’s fewest points scored against Los
Angeles in the two teams’ all-time history – 58 points at Los Angeles, June 6, 2009.
- The Shock are now 0-4 on the road when scoring fewer than 70 points.
- The Shock scored a first half season-low 26 points.
- The Shock lost by a margin of 27 points, its second largest losing deficit this season: 31-
point loss at Phoenix, July 2.
Sparks head coach Brian Agler
On the reserves’ minutes
“I don’t want to disrespect the people that are playing, I want to keep coaching those guys because they work hard and they don’t get many opportunities. It was nice to get them some minutes and some of them get some really good games.”
On team defense
“If you ask them, they’re going to tell you how much we talk about our defensive end and how much we work on it and the preparation we put into the games and in to defending our opponents. I was really proud of how they really played defensively tonight because Tulsa really has the ability to score points when they’re engaged and when they get into the rhythm, our guards especially. Odyssey Sims and Riquna Williams are explosive type players and we did a good job staying in place with those type of players.”
On how to improve
“We need to get better at everything. We still are sort of working our way into playing with each other. You got Alana coming back, you got Candace coming back so we’re trying to keep getting better.”
Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike
On her role with Alana Beard and Candace Parker back
“I’m playing the three almost exclusively now, so I have to lock down a little bit more on defense. As far as offense goes, I just kind of have to figure out when the next actions occur.”
On the team’s depth
“It’s nice to get everyone in and get some experience. I think we have a good bench. We have a very good bench, in my opinion, and whether it’s late in the game or early in the game, we got to utilize all of our assets.”
On the team’s rematch with Minnesota
“I expect a hard battle, for sure, but I expect us to play like how we played last game. We have to fight hard and lock down on defense.”
Sparks forward Candace Parker
On team defense
“I think it’s just kind of to come in and lock down defensively, I think we’re playing some of the best team defense in a long time, and that’s allowing us to come out in transition, and that’s key for us. If we can do that, we’re capable of playing in the half court and capable of limiting teams and we’ll be a force to reckon with.”
On the Tulsa’s performance
“We know that they’re a good team and are capable of playing great games. They almost beat Phoenix at Phoenix if it wasn’t for a late three by DeWanna (Bonner). We know what type of team we’re playing and the type of team they’re capable of being and we just came out with out foot on the gas early and were able to take control
Shock head coach Fred Williams
“Los Angeles just jumped on us in the beginning, was great on the fast break, getting second-chance points, and grabbing offensive rebounds. They just buried us in a hole and we couldn’t overcome it.”
On the ongoing losing streak
“We’re still hungry. We’re still fighting for victories. When we go on a losing streak like this, it’s all about sticking together and fighting hard. Tonight just wasn’t out night.”
Shock forward Plenette Pierson
On tonight’s game
“Los Angeles played a great game. We didn’t come out and play our style of basketball. They came out and jumped on us early and did not take their foots off the accelerator.”
“I think we’re good. We’re a young team and we’re still learning. We’re still learning each other and the way we need to approach each game. We’re not down on ourselves at all but we just need to pick it up and play better next game.”
Shock guard Odyssey Sims
Overall thoughts on game
“I don’t have anything to say.”
On flagrant foul committed by Temeka Johnson in the second quarter
“It’s basketball. Things happen. On to the next.”
By the Numbers
Points in the Paint: Shock 26, Sparks 50
Second Chance Points: Shock 6, Sparks 14
Fastbreak Points: Shock 0, Sparks 13
Biggest Lead: Shock 0, Sparks 31
Lead Changes: 0
Times Tied: 1