Sky can’t find spark late in loss

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS -

Can­dace Parker scored 24 points with 15 re­bounds and Chelsea Gray added 20 with seven as­sists to help the Los An­ge­les Sparks beat the Sky 86-80 on Sun­day night in Braden­ton, Florida.

The Sky have lost three in a row and five of their last six games.

“We just keep on stay­ing pos­i­tive and try­ing to rec­tify mis­takes,” Sky coach James Wade said. “I don’t think you do any­thing dif­fer­ent from just try­ing to ad­just and adapt to the sit­u­a­tions that you have and keep on learn­ing from the losses, be­cause you have to learn from the wins and losses. So, we just have to keep on learn­ing and try to ap­ply what we can.”

The Sky jumped out with a 30-point first quar­ter and led by eight af­ter one. The Sparks tight­ened their de­fense from there and largely seized con­trol. The Sky (11-9) man­aged just 10 points in the fourth quar­ter.

Back-to-back three-point­ers by Parker and Tierra Ruf­fin-Pratt and a tip-in by Gray con­sti­tuted an 8-0 run for a 69-65 lead late in the third quar­ter, and Los An­ge­les led the rest of the way.

Cheyenne Parker led the Sky with 24 points and 10 re­bounds, Al­lie Quigley scored 22, Kahleah Cop­per 14 and Court­ney Van­der­sloot dis­trib­uted 15 as­sists against just two turnovers. Van­der­sloot had 13 or more as­sists for the third time this sea­son, lead­ing the WNBA.

The Sparks (14-5) are a halfgame be­hind Las Ve­gas for the sec­ond spot in the stand­ings. The two teams meet on Satur­day.

Be­fore the game, the Sky signed for­ward Alexis Prince for the re­main­der of the sea­son and re­leased guard Alisia Jenk­ins af­ter her seven-day con­tract ex­pired.

In the 2019-20 off­sea­son, Prince av­er­aged 22.6 points, 9.5 re­bounds, and 4.8 as­sists for the Turk­ish league’s Hatay BSB (KSBL).


For­ward Cheyenne Parker (left) led the Sky with 24 points and 10 re­bounds Sun­day against the Sparks.

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