A blowout win over the San Antonio Stars in their final game of May seemed to give the Los Angeles Sparks some momentum for this month.
It hasn’t worked out that way.
The Sparks will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak in nearly two years with another win over the struggling Stars on Saturday night in San Antonio.
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Candace Parker scored 23 points and Los Angeles shot 53.0 percent in an 83-62 home win over the Stars on May 25. The Sparks (3-5) then had a week off but have gone on to drop four of five games in June, falling into a tie for last in the Western Conference.
They lost 69-67 to fellow cellar dweller Tulsa on Friday on a basket with 1.9 seconds remaining. Los Angeles held a two-point lead with less than 43 seconds to go, but Parker missed the team’s final two shots and the Sparks lost a jump ball with 16.4 left.
Parker had a team-best 18 points despite missing nine of 14 shots, and Nneka Ogwumike was the only other Los Angeles player in double figures with 17.
The Sparks, who haven’t endured a three-game skid since Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2012, will try to bounce back with their fourth consecutive win over San Antonio (4-6). They’ve won seven of the last eight matchups, including a two-game sweep in the 2012 playoffs.
The Stars head into this meeting having lost four of five and three in a row at home. They trailed by 22 points late in the third quarter Friday against visiting Seattle before launching a rally that fell short in a 79-72 defeat.
San Antonio cut the deficit to three with 2:14 remaining but made one basket after that. Danielle Adams tied a season high with 18 points off the bench but couldn’t help the Stars make up for a 3-of-18 performance from 3-point range.
"That’s on me," coach Dan Hughes said. "Their coach should have them better prepared for that first half that we saw. Second half we started to escalate to what we wanted to do. I just did a lousy job getting them ready for this basketball game."
Kayla McBride, the No. 3 overall draft pick, is 2 of 13 from beyond the arc in the last two games and has missed 22 of her last 27 shots overall. McBride was shooting 42.9 percent (15 for 35) from 3-point range in her first eight games while averaging 12.0 points.
The Sparks and Stars will meet again June 22 in Los Angeles.