WNBA: Sparks stave off Mystics, get first win under Fred Williams
Nneka Ogwumike scored 21 points as the host Los Angeles Sparks ended a three-game losing streak by holding off the Washington Mystics 84-82 on Tuesday night.
Katie Lou Samuelson added 13 points and Chiney Ogwumike and Jordin Canada scored 10 each as the Sparks (6-9) won for the first time in three games under interim coach Fred Williams, who took over when Derek Fisher was fired earlier this month.
Ariel Atkins scored 22 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 17 and Natasha Cloud had 13 points and 13 assists to lead the Mystics (11-8), who trailed by 16 points in the fourth quarter but missed an opportunity to tie the score in the final seconds.
Kennedy Burke’s three-point play started the fourth-quarter scoring and Elizabeth Williams added a basket that pulled the Mystics within eight points.
Brittney Sykes made a 3-pointer and assisted on Samuelson’s 3-pointer during an 8-0 run that gave Los Angeles a 73-57 lead.
Cloud made two 3-pointers and assisted on Atkins’ four-point play as Washington got within 77-71 with 2:58 left.
Canada’s jumper pushed the lead back to eight before Alysha Clark’s 3-pointer and Atkins’ basket helped the Mystics get within four points with 58 seconds left.
Canada missed a jumper and Atkins made two free throws to get Washington within 80-78 with 24.9 seconds left.
After Canada made two free throws, Cloud hit a 3-pointer to get the Mystics within one with 13.3 seconds left.
The Sparks pushed the lead to three when Nneka Ogwumike made two free throws with 10.2 seconds left.
Cloud was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left, but she made just one free throw.
Samuelson’s 3-pointer started the second-half scoring and Kristi Toliver added a 3-pointer that gave Los Angeles a 41-33 lead.
The lead grew to 12 on a basket by Nneka Ogwumike, and the Sparks led by 12 on five more occasions, the last at 63-51 at the end of the third quarter.
–Field Level Media