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Chicago Sky vs. Los Angeles Sparks Pick & Prediction JUN 5TH 2021

Logo Chicago Sky
Logo Los Angeles Sparks

161.5o -111
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When the Los Angeles Sparks host the Chicago Sky on Saturday in a nationally televised WNBA game, they'll be looking for a season sweep.

Los Angeles (3-3) posted 76-61 and 82-79 wins at Chicago last month. Of course, those games were with Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike in the lineup. Both are out for this game, as Nneka (left knee sprain) is sidelined for 4-6 weeks and Chiney (right knee) is week-to-week.

Neither was needed Thursday night when the Sparks walloped struggling Indiana 98-63 in their first home game with fans since 2019. Kristi Toliver (22), Te'a Cooper (15) and Bria Holmes (14) logged season highs in the scoring column and Holmes set a single-game franchise record by going plus-39 in the plus-minus ratings.

Coach Derek Fisher was most pleased with a defensive effort that limited Indiana to 25.6 percent first-half shooting.

"I think we have to be a team that's disruptive, that creates turnovers," he said. "And we did a better job of converting most of those opportunities tonight and hopefully we can build on that as we move forward."

Los Angeles must find ways to make up for Nneka Oguwmike's team-high 16.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. L.A. got at least five points from all eight players that suited up on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Chicago (2-6) is looking for some traction. The Sky didn't find it Thursday night in Phoenix, where they coughed up a late lead and fell in overtime, 77-74, for their sixth straight loss.

Kahleah Copper scored 14 points for the Sky, who owned an eight-point lead in the third quarter and then took a 72-67 edge in overtime before the Mercury ended with a 10-2 burst.

Chicago will likely play again without star forward-center Candace Parker (ankle), who has missed the last seven games after getting injured in a season-opening win last month at Washington.

--Field Level Media

Chicago Sky
Los Angeles Sparks

Chicago Sky vs. Los Angeles Sparks

A dominant double-double performance from Candace Parker powered the Los Angeles Sparks past the Chicago Sky, 86-80, Sunday in Bradenton, Fla.

Parker shot 10-of-12 from the floor en route to 24 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and came up big defensively with a pair of blocked shots. Los Angeles (14-5) needed every bit of her contributions, breaking out of a stalemate in the fourth quarter to hold off Chicago.

The Sky (11-9) opened up a double-digit-point lead in the second quarter before a Parker rebound led to a Chelsea Gray basket. Parker scored on the next Sparks possession, and the back-to-back buckets began an 18-9 run to close out the half.

Gray finished with 20 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two steals, giving Los Angeles a potent combination punch with Parker.

The one-point gap at halftime carried over into the second half. Chicago kept pace behind its own big-two performance, with Cheyenne Parker recording a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Allie Quigley hitting five 3-pointers en route to 22 points.

Courtney Vandersloot also played a key role for the Sky with 15 assists.

Los Angeles created separation in the waning moments, going on a 5-0 mini-run to push a four-point lead to nine. More importantly than the point differential of the run, Los Angeles held Chicago without a point for almost two minutes over that stretch with under five minutes remaining, and again in the game's final 1:22.

Brittney Sykes scored 11 points for the Sparks, and Riquna Williams added 10 points off the bench. Nneka Ogwumike, playing for the first time since sustaining a back injury on Aug. 30, finished with nine points.

Kahleah Copper scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Sky, and Vandersloot added nine points.

Los Angeles is two games behind WNBA-leading Seattle, and a half-game behind Las Vegas for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. The Sparks wrap up with Las Vegas on Sept. 12 after matchups against Washington and New York -- two teams in the bottom-third of the league standings.

The Sky already clinched a postseason berth, but with two games remaining against Atlanta and Dallas, cannot climb any higher than fifth after Sunday's loss.

--Field Level Media
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