Sparks aim to stay unbeaten vs. Fever (May 23, 2017)
The Los Angeles Sparks will look to continue their unbeaten season when they visit the Indiana Fever on Wednesday night.
Los Angeles (2-0) is coming off back-to-back, 10-point wins over the Seattle Storm and Washington Mystics. The reigning WNBA champions lead the league with an average of 88.5 points per game to go along with 50 percent shooting from the field and 46.2 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Indiana (1-2) will try to reach the .500 mark after winning Saturday evening in its home opener against the Connecticut Sun. The Fever rallied in the fourth quarter to earn an 81-79 victory.
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Tiffany Mitchell leads Indiana with an average of 14 points a game. Candice Dupree is next with an average of 13.7 points a game, while Shenise Johnson is averaging 13 points.
Fever coach Pokey Chatman said Dupree’s influence has provided a big boost for the team.
“Outside of the stats, it’s her presence that’s out there,” Chatman told the team’s official website. “She knows what to say, so people are listening, and sometimes it sounds better coming from a teammate who’s been there and won championships.”
Nneka Ogwumike leads the Sparks with 23 points a game. The 6-foot-2 playmaker from Stanford is shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Guard Odyssey Sims will suit up for her third game with the Sparks. In her first two contests, she is averaging 12.5 points and 4.5 assists.
“Odyssey is more of a true point guard and distributor, a penetrator in the lane who can pressure the ball,” Sparks coach Brian Agler told the Los Angeles Times.
Sims is one of five Sparks players who is averaging double digits this season. The athletic 24-year-old spent last season with the Dallas Wings.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” Sims told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m in a better situation, and I’m just really excited to be here. Not just to be in California, but to actually be playing for L.A. They just won a championship, and Brian, he knows what he’s talking about.”
Los Angeles posted a 2-1 record against Indiana last season. The Sparks held on for wins of 94-88 and 88-81 at home, but they lost 92-82 on the road.
Ogwumike led the Sparks in scoring in both of their victories against the Fever.
During Indiana’s win over Los Angeles, Fever guard Erica Wheeler scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Briann January contributed 12 points and nine assists in the victory.