Ogwumike, Sun hold off Sparks for 73-72 win

LOS ANGELES (AP) Chiney Ogwumike made a layup with 18.5 seconds left to help the Connecticut Sun hold on for a 73-72 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night.

Ogwumike finished with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Rachel Banham had 11 points and six assists and Alex Bentley scored 10 points for Connecticut (10-7).

The Sun led by as many as 20 points in the first half and didn’t trail until Nneka Ogwumike – Chiney’s older sister – made a layup that gave the Sparks a 65-64 lead midway through the fourth quarter. There were five more lead changes – the last of which came on a 3-point play by Nneka Ogwumike that put Los Angeles up by one with 27.9 seconds left – before Chiney Ogwumike’s layup that proved to be the winner.

L.A.’s Chelsea Gray lost the ball out of bounds with 3.5 seconds to go. After Connecticut called a timeout, moving the ball to midcourt, Nneka stole the inbound pass but her shot from two steps inside half court missed.

The Sparks scored eight points, on 2-of-13 shooting, in the first quarter – their lowest scoring quarter of the season.

Nneka Ogwumike led Los Angeles with 20 points and Candace Parker scored 17, all in the second half.

Connecticut was still missing Alyssa Thomas (shoulder injury) and Courtney Williams (personal).