POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES powered by Chicago Sun-Times: Short-Handed Sky Fall to Sparks, 84-81


• Chicago took control early with a 20-6 run to begin the game

• The Sparks finished the half on a 22-11 run to cut the Sky lead to five heading into the break, 44-39

• Los Angeles finished the game on a 9-2 run to seal the victory over Chicago, 84-81 KEY STATS

• Los Angeles outscored Chicago 42-38 in the paint • The Sky recorded 11 fastbreak points, while the Sparks scored 14 points in transition

• Chicago recorded a season-high 16 steals, but also a season-high 24 turnovers and a season-low 12 assists

• The teams combined for 47 turnovers


• Chicago’s largest lead was when Los Angeles trailed by 16 points

• In her first start of the season, Astou Ndour matched her season high in points with seven and set season highs in rebounds with seven and blocks with four

• Three Sky players finished in double-digits: Allie Quigley, Cheyenne Parker, and Diamond DeShields

• Gabby Williams tallied a season-high six assists in her second start of the season

• Kahleah Copper finished with a season-high 2 steals

• Cheyenne Parker set a season high with eight made free throws and matched a season high with 10 first-half points

• Stefanie Dolson matched a season high with three steals

• Allie Quigley recorded a season-high three steals, while Cheyenne Parker matched her season high with three steals of her own


• The Sparks won their fifth consecutive game and their sixth straight all-time against the Sky

• Nneka Ogwumike recorded her eleventh double-double of the season, ranking her third in the WNBA

• Chelsea Gray led the Sparks in scoring and finished with 26 points, just three points shy of her season high

• Candace Parker was limited to a season-low two rebounds in the contest

• Maria Vadeeva recorded double-figure points in her first eight minutes of play, ending the game with 12 points and matching her season high with five rebounds

• The Sparks matched their season low in blocks with just one in the game



On the outcome:

“I want to see the game before I comment any further, but it’s tough to say that we didn’t de-serve to win that game.”

On what Chicago will take away:

“Only thing we can do is just focus on us, and I thought we did a good job of that, fighting through adversity today without our point guard, with things not going in our favor. Of course, you want to win those types of games but it is what it is. We’ll keep on fighting and just keep going from there.”


On the bench stepping up:

“We all just genuinely wanted to get that win for the guys that aren’t playing, but we got a talented roster. One through 12, I think our depth really showed tonight and I think that we can match up with anyone with or without starters in the lineup or not, and we showed that. That kind of sends a message to the rest of the league and sends a message to ourselves.”

On competing against the Sparks:

“Playing against LA, especially here, is always tough. They’re on like a three, four game win streak now, but once again, it’s going to be a quick turnaround for us [when we play the Sparks again on Friday]. We’ll have [Courtney Vandersloot] back, which will obviously change the dynamic of the game. Got to clean up some things offensively, defensively get some more rebounds, extra possessions, and I think we can get a better outcome.”


On playing without Jantel Lavender and Courtney Vandersloot:

“Obviously it’s tough to play without both of them. Jantel’s been playing amazing lately, you know, making every shot and Courtney makes everything easier for everyone. But it was nice to see that we could fight and everyone stepped up that doesn’t usually play as much, so it was promising.”


On slow start against Chicago:

“I thought early on they had more purpose to their game. We were playing as thought it was just another game on the schedule. … I thought that Chicago started the game more connected to the value of this game, which can happen. You get comfortable at home. I thought we have reached our limit of being at home, and it’s time to take this show on the road and get some of that edge back.”

On Chelsea Gray’s turnovers:

“She forced a few, and some of the turnovers she had were because she didn’t just shoot it. She’s still thinking about making someone else better. So, it was an example of her still struggling with that. She’s not wired to shoot the ball 30 times. And so you look at she had 20 field goal attempts, and she probably had three or four turnovers where she should’ve shot it, and then she tried to pass it at the last second. There are nights where she has to be our best offensive player, and in that fourth quarter, she showed some mental toughness and made some big baskets that we needed.”

On finishing out the game with grit:

“That’s the most impressive part about games like tonight is that even with a great week of preparation… The game starts and it just happens. Somebody’s in foul trouble, somebody turns an ankle, shots aren’t going in, everything’s goes the other team’s way. And you look up at the scoreboard and you’re down 16 points on your home court. So, you can decide, it’s now our day, start getting frustrated, start doing your own thing, point fingers at your teammates… Or you can say, ‘What can I do to be better?’ That’s where the grit comes in.”


On their comeback performance:

“We saw a lot of heart. We saw a lot of fight, effort, grit. We had to turn to our teammates and not turn inward down the stretch in order to win the game, and that’s what we talk about. We were going through [too many] highs and lows the entire game to not be able to go and win it.” SPARKS GUARD TIERRA RUFFIN-PRATT

On the team’s mindset out of halftime:

“We knew we started out a little slow, a little sluggish, so we were just trying to bring that energy, make [Chicago] call that first timeout in the beginning of the second half. Just picking up the bench – those coming off the bench and those [that were] starters. We all knew we came out flat and put ourselves in a hole, so it was digging ourselves out of it.”

On the defining factor of the night:

“We got stops down the stretch. That’s been our go-to for most of the season, being able to get stops. Coach always says that when it comes down to it, to be able to win games you’re going to have to be able to get stops.”