Ogwumike sisters drive Sparks past Fever
Nneka Ogwumike scored 22 points, and Chiney Ogwumike added 19 as the visiting Los Angeles Sparks used a strong third quarter to outlast the Indiana Fever 90-84 on Friday night.
The Sparks' sister duo also contributed a combined 15 rebounds, as Los Angeles (8-7) overcame the absence of forward Candace Parker, who was out with a right ankle injury. Chiney Ogwumike had nine of those rebounds.
Erica Wheeler and Sinise Johnson scored 11 points each, as the Fever (6-11) lost for the sixth time in their last seven games and dropped their sixth consecutive home game.
Chelsea Gray scored 15 points, and Marina Mabrey added 10 as the Sparks won for the fourth time in their last five games, losing only in that stretch to the Dallas Wings, who entered Friday second-to-last in the WNBA standings.
Parker was injured early in Tuesday's defeat at Dallas. The veteran had already missed the first seven games of the season with a hamstring injury.
The Sparks jumped out to a quick 23-17 lead after one quarter and held a 45-35 advantage at halftime after shooting 46.2 percent from the floor, while holding Indiana to 40.6 percent shooting over the first two quarters.
Los Angeles then poured it on at the start of the second half, opening with a 21-3 run. The Sparks outscored the Fever 31-17 in the third, while shooting 11 of 22 from the field, to take a 76-52 advantage into the final quarter.
The Fever picked up the intensity to outscore the Sparks 32-14 in the final frame -- including a 19-0 run over the final 3:24 -- but the scoring burst came too late.
The Sparks played relentless defense, forcing the Fever into 20 turnovers, while only committing 12 of their own. Indiana had a 36-31 rebounding advantage, grabbing 15 of those in the fourth quarter.
The Sparks ended their three-game road losing streak while improving to 1-1 on a three-game road trip that ends Sunday at Atlanta.
--Field Level Media
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