Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Sparks hold off Stars for 2nd straight road win, climb out of last place in the West

Published on August 3, 2015


Jia Perkins of the San Antonio Stars drives to the basket against the Los Angeles Sparks  Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jia Perkins of the San Antonio Stars drives to the basket against the Los Angeles Sparks. Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Sparks (5-14) climbed out of the basement of the West with their second consecutive road win Sunday, beating the San Antonio Stars 80-78 at Freeman Coliseum. Los Angeles is now fifth in the west, ahead of the Seattle Storm (5-16). Seattle is in a four-game losing streak.

The Stars (6-14) were aggressive to start the game, leading by as much as seven in the first quarter and ending the half with a 49-38 advantage. However, the Sparks outscored the Stars 21-11 in the third and 21-18 in the fourth to overcome the deficit and come out with the victory.

Five Sparks players were in double figures led by Jantel Lavender who scored 20 points and pulled down eight rebounds. In her third game of the season, Candace Parker had 17 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. It was her first double-double of the summer. Alana Beard contributed 15 points and seven assists, Ana Dabovic scored 13 points off the bench, one shy of her career high. Seven of those points came in the fourth quarter. She also dished out four assists. Nneka Ogwumike contributed 10 points

Jia Perkins led San Antonio with 24 points and five rebounds, Kayla McBride added 17 and Danielle Robinson finished with 12 points.

Injured players that did not see action:

  • Los Angeles: Farhiya Abdi, Erin Phillips
  • San Antonio: Dearica Hamby, Alex Montgomery

Stars player Danielle Adams has one game left of her three-game suspension.

The Stars travel to Connecticut to face the Sun on Tuesday. The Sparks head home to host the Minnesota Lynx on the same day.


  • The Stars set a new season-high with 49 points in the first half. The previous was set on June 29th when San Antonio scored 47 points against Atlanta. The home team also set a new opponent season-high in second quarter scoring with 26 points.
  • Los Angeles snapped a three-game losing streak when playing San Antonio on the road dating back to June 14, 2014. The Sparks also advance their away record to 2-8 after seeing their first away win against Chicago (7/31).
  • The win marked the fifth time this season that Los Angeles has finished with a field-goal percent-
    age over 50.0 percent.


Stars head coach Dan Hughes

(Opening statement…)

“I think it was a tale of two halves. I thought the first half we did a lot of things we wanted to do, and I think in the second half we did but not consistently. When you add in (Candace) Parker to that group, it’s a very talented group. One that you need two halves to beat.”

(On this game being like a playoff game specifically in the final play…)

“We got a stop at the end. I wish we could have gotten a little more space on the last attempt. We got kind of congested. It had a lot of those elements. The second half wasn’t as good for us as the first half, but we still battled back. It was that pull and tug that you have with good games. It’s just sometimes it comes down to Parker making that play with one second. It’s a pretty big play when you look back. We got an opportunity at the end. That’s what you want to have in these games so we live and learn.”

Stars forward Sophia Young-Malcolm

(On the second half…)

“I think that we started off the game well, and we were really aggressive. We were getting the ball on the inside a lot in the first half. Coach mentioned we had 13 assists in the first half, but then only had three in the second half. I think we went away from moving the ball and moved away from playing with each other and moved to playing one on one in the second half. I think L.A. took advantage of that.”

(On whether the Sparks aggressiveness caught the Stars off guard)

“Well not necessarily caught us off guard. I think we just came out a little bit too complacent. We came out a little bit too soft. There is not one team in the WNBA that’s not good. Any team can beat anybody on any given night. We didn’t think that we had this win. I think it’s more that they just put us back on our feet. We didn’t really pound back hard enough to limit their run. We kind of knew they were going to do that. It’s just a matter of us making our run too and I don’t think that we did that.”

Stars guard Jia Perkins

(On her overall thoughts on the game…)

“I think coach came in here and he said it well. He said we had 13 assists in the first half and in the second only had 3. It was just a lot of one on one. I think they forced us to do that. They were just trying to be more aggressive offensively. Honestly, I think it was the defense in the second half is how we lost the game. They started hitting all those shots down the stretch and kind of put us in a pickle.”

Sparks head coach Brian Agler

(On defensive play in the second half…)

Well the third quarter did. San Antonio got in a rhythm in the first half and hit some shots. Their three perimeter players were all in double figures so we talked quite a bit in halftime. I challenged them a little bit and they rose to the challenge. You don’t want to wait it out, you want to try to help the process of that occurring so I thought in the second half –defensively- they were much better on the ball in pick and roll situations. We had to do that with those people because they were definitely rolling in the first quarter. The first quarter and the first half. ”

(On Jantel Lavender’s performance…)

Jantel, a lot of times people don’t talk about her, but she’s been so consistent this year and has hung in there and has put up good numbers, but her defense is getting so much better and there were some late possessions where she had to get switched out on McBride and Perkins and she did a great job of containing them and challenging shots without fouling.”

(On Ana Dabovic’s play…)

Ana is getting better defensively, but offensively she has great instincts. She hit a couple big threes for us and attacked the rim, made some great passes, and her personality and her flare for the game just gets people excited out on the floor.”

Sparks forward  Candace Parker

(On final defensive stand…)

Well we gave up 49 points in the first half so we knew we weren’t going to win if we played like that in the second. The key to winning the game was in the third quarter when we gave up 10. That was huge, that’s what Coach Agler is trying to instill, is that mentality, that fight, and we had it tonight. We’re tired, this has been a long road trip and it’s not going to get easier from here, but we just fought.

 (On help from supporting cast…)

“We have a bench and they kept us in it. They tied it up in the second quarter. The Stars got back in there and got it back down again, but we’re capable of going on runs as a team and if we come out with that mentality all the time would be great.”

(On Sparks gaining momentum throughout the season…)

“I think it’s been our biggest problem, even going back two, three years, is executing down the stretch. We’ve always been right there, but it’s about winning this game. Last year we would have lost this game so I think it’s about having that mentality and knowing what you’re supposed to do down the stretch, defensively, offensively, as a team.”

By the Numbers

Points in the Paint: Sparks 36, Stars 24
Second Chance Points: Sparks 8, Stars 4
Fastbreak Points: Sparks 6, Stars 14
Biggest Lead: Sparks 7, Stars 13
Lead Changes: 3
Times Tied: 6



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