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Sparks Overcome 18-Point Deficit But Fall Short in Chicago

August 16, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Los Angeles Sparks News Release

CHICAGO - The Sparks erased an 18-point deficit but could not overcome a 3- point barrage from the Chicago Sky, falling 91-81. The loss drops the Sparks to 15-10, but they retain control of fourth place as the team has already won the season series against Chicago, two games to one.

Chelsea Gray opened scoring with a 3-pointer, but the Sky answered with a 15-2 run to force a timeout from head coach Derek Fisher with LA trailing 15-5. The Sparks got a much-needed lift from Alana Beard, who scored five points off the bench in the opening frame. Chelsea Gray added seven in the first quarter to help the Sparks cut the deficit to 22-16, but Diamond DeShields hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to nine. The Sky led 25-18 after one.

The Sky started the second quarter on a 11-0 run with triples from Qiugley and Katie Lou Samuelson, forcing another Sparks timeout with the score 36-18 Chicago. The Sparks regrouped and Gray cut it to 38-28 with a drive, as she reached double-figures for the 19th time this season and the 11th straight game, but Quigley again responded with a 3-pointer. Alana Beard went on a personal 5-0 run to end half, drilling a 3-pointer with 0.8 to help the Sparks close to 45-37.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt came out hot to start the second half, scoring six points to help the Sparks cut it to six, before Quigley answered with an and-one to put the Sky back up nine. Ruffin-Pratt reached double-figures for the seventh time this season. The Sparks cut the lead to four points on a N. Ogwumike layup as she reached double-figures for the 21st time this season and the 13th straight game. A Vadeeva transition layup cut the lead to 60-58 Chicago before Stefanie Dolson answered with a 3-pointer.

A Vandersloot technical led to a free throw from Gray, which pulled the Spark to within one at 63-62. A Chiney Ogwumike layup gave the Sparks their first lead at 64-63, but the Sky ended the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 69-64 lead into the fourth.

Gray hit a leaner to cut the deficit to 69-66 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Chicago again answered with a 3-pointer, this time from Kahleah Copper. The Sky shot 12-for-28 on 3-pointers for the night. A Candace Parker 3-pointer cut it to five points with five minutes left and and and-one from Gray cut the deficit to 78-74 with 4:15 left. Gray followed with a 3-pointer to cut it to 78-77 Chicago, but they wouldn't get any closer. The Sky closed the game on a 13-4 run to win the game.

Next Up: The Sparks travel home and face the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday, Aug. 20 in the first game of a three-game homestand.

Sparks Notes

- Chelsea Gray reached double-figures for the 19th time this season and the 11th straight game

- Gray scored 20+ points for the sixth time this season

- Alana Beard reached double-figures for the 1st time this season and scored a season-high 10 points

- Tierra Ruffin-Pratt reached double-figures for the 7th time this season with 16 points

- Nneka Ogwumike reached double-figures for the 21st time this season and the 13th straight game with 16 points

- Ogwumike fouled out; the Sparks were + 13 with her in the contest

- The Sparks overcame an 18-point lead, the largest of the season in the loss

Sky Notes

- Allie Quigley reached double-figures, scoring 26 points

- Courtney Vandersloot reached double-figures, scoring 17 points

- Diamond DeShields reached double-figures, scoring 11 points

- Astou Ndour reached double-figures, scoring 11 points

- Stefanie Dolson reached double-figures, scoring 10 points

- The Sky made 12 3-pointers and out-rebounded the Sparks 38-27

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