As the Atlanta Dream continue to struggle on the road, the only place the Los Angeles Sparks have won this season is at home.
The Sparks hope a return to Staples Center will help them avoid a fifth consecutive defeat Thursday against the Dream.
Los Angeles (2-11) hit 11 of its 15 shots to open a 12-point lead Wednesday at Seattle, but the 25 turnovers committed led to 26 points by the Storm in a 68-61 defeat. Kristi Toliver and Nneka Ogwumike entered that contest averaging 20.5 points and 18.5, respectively, but combined for 22 as the Storm took control by outscoring the Sparks 39-25 over the second and third quarters.
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Ogwumike, who has played nine games because of an ankle injury, was held to four of her team-high 12 points in the second half. She averaged 22.0 points in her previous five contests.
"I thought (forward) Alysha Clark did an incredible job on Ogwumike during that stretch, which was a part of our change in momentum also," Seattle coach Jenny Boucek told the team’s official website.
With an 0-7 mark away from home, the Sparks join San Antonio as the only clubs without a road victory.
Atlanta (6-8), meanwhile, looks to avoid a fourth consecutive road defeat after it fell to an Eastern Conference-worst 1-4 away from home with Tuesday’s 80-71 loss at Phoenix to open a six-game trek. Tiffany Hayes had a season-high 19 points but Angel McCoughtry (21.1 ppg) was held to 11 on 3-of-20 shooting.
McCoughtry is the WNBA’s second-leading scorer but is shooting a career-low 38.5 percent.
She was held to a combined 26 points as Atlanta split the two 2014 meetings with the Sparks. She went 5 of 20 from the field during an 80-77 overtime loss at Los Angeles on Aug. 8 in Dream coach Michael Cooper’s return to face an L.A. club he coached on two occasions from 2000-2009.
Teammate Shoni Schimmel, who has 12 points and missed a tying 3-point attempt at in that contest, had the same for a season high Tuesday. The second-year guard, who hails from Oregon, could have family come down to attend this contest before watching her play at Seattle on Saturday.
"For them to make it to an extra game, it’s going to be special for me," Schimmel told the Dream’s official website.
Ogwumike had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Sparks in last season’s home victory over the Dream, who have dropped three straight at Los Angeles after winning their first four trips there.