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Sparks grab best win of the season beating the Aces

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Minnesota Lynx v Los Angeles Sparks
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Sparks picked up their best win of the season, going toe-to-toe with the Aces to come away with a huge victory.

Another slow start turned into an offensive clinic, as the Sparks grabbed their second win in a row and biggest of the season, 96-92, beating the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday night.

With this win, the Sparks are now 2-2 in Commisoner’s Cup games.

Dearica Hamby reached 2,800 career points Sunday night. She was putting in the work, dropping 18 points with 10 rebounds and five assists.

Rickea Jackson had an excellent game, scoring 16 points with five rebounds and a block. Cameron Brink scored eight points with six rebounds and five blocks.

LA’s bench delivered again with 40 points. Aari McDonald led the charge with 16 points. Lexie Brown was on fire again with nine points, three rebounds and four assists.

Li Yueru continued showcasing her consistent growth with six points and grabbing six rebounds. Rae Burrell’s only minutes came in the fourth quarter but she went 2-2 from behind the arc for seven points.

The Sparks were down eight early after a 5-0 run by A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum. Aces rookie Kate Martin and Plum knocked down threes to help extend their lead to 14. A layup by Hamby stopped some of the bleeding for LA.

The Sparks began making their shots, but they were struggling defensively. Brown picked up where she left off from last game, drilling a 3-pointer.

After the Aces extended their lead to 15, LA started to come alive and cut it to 10. A sudden offensive surge led to a 14-5 run as the Sparks trailed by only five to end the first.

LA made it a one-point game in the second after Brown knocked down another 3-pointer. McDonald, up to 10 points off the bench, provided a much-needed spark.

Jackson’s first shot of the night helped the Sparks take a two-point lead. The offensive momentum favored LA as the Aces could not find their magic from the first period.

The difference between the Sparks' defense when they began the game and their performance in the second period was night and day.

Jackson’s confidence soared as she knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game. Fiery offense and excellent defense gave all the momentum to the Sparks to make it a one-point deficit at halftime.

The second half started with Layshia Clarendon being fouled from behind the arc and knocking down all three free throws, which helped LA get the lead by two.

A 3-pointer by Hamby and a free throw by Kia Nurse after she was fouled extended the lead to four. The Sparks’ energy was high and they were playing with confidence. Hamby and Wilson were having an excellent All-Star quality battle against each other.

With 5:37 left in the quarter, LA gained a nine-point lead, their largest of the night. Nurse had a rough start to the game, but this second half was her shining moment.

The lead started to fade as the Aces went on a 17-1 run to make it a four-point game. Fortunately, LA countered and led by nine at the end of the third.

The Sparks’ momentum carried into the start of the final frame, but the Aces were still within striking distance. Las Vegas began their fight back and it was a three-point game with whatever offensive powers the Sparks had found slipping away.

A layup by Tiffany Hayes made it a one-point game and helped the Aces eventually take a lead but a layup by Jackson and a 3-pointer by Burrell had the Sparks up by one.

Burrell was on fire knocking down another three to extend the lead to four. Both teams were battling hard, back and forth, making impressive shots.

A second technical foul call on coach Becky Hammon with just over 20 seconds left had her ejected and led to a four-point Sparks lead. Alysha Clark cut the deficit to one, but with just 1.2 remaining, it was too little, too late and McDonald’s free throws sealed the win.

Key Takeaways:

LA’s bench again put on an incredible performance to lock down the win. Despite the slow start, they kept their energy high and didn’t back down from the battle.

Hamby is an All-Star and we should all start the campaign as soon as possible.

An outstanding game by LA’s rookies, proving the future is incredibly bright for LA.

The Sparks’ next contest will be Tuesday against the Seattle Storm at 7:00 PM PT.

You can follow Karin on Twitter at @KarinAbcarians.

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