Candace Parker scored 21 points as the Los Angeles Sparks eased past the Washington Mystics by a score of 95-62 on a Wednesday night game on ESPN 2. Parker had plenty of help on the night from her talented teammates as Nneka Ogwumike and Odyssey Sims scored 18 points a piece. Sims also tallied seven assists and four steals. Alana Beard was also everywhere in this game against her former team. There is more to the game of basketball than scoring points and that is how Alana made her mark in tonight’s game. She could be seen playing tremendous defense while making her jump shots on the offensive end for her team. Beard finished the game with 8 points and 4 assists. On the other hand for the Mystics Emma Meesseman scored 20 points, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting and Kristi Toliver added 11 points against her former team.
This game started with both teams standing side-by-side with locked arms during a moment of silence for the victims that were killed and injured in the Charlottesville, Virginia protests. The Sparks started the first quarter on fire. They did a tremendous job of Capitalizing on the Mystics mistakes by making smart decisions in transition. Washington had trouble with turnovers that is what killed them in last night’s game. Though the Sparks jumped out to a fast start the Mystics would not go down without a fight. Washington ended the half on a nice run as their reserves came into the game to give them some life. Meesseman was the only member of the Mystics to really have success offensively in the period.
The Sparks started off the second quarter with two straight three-pointers and a trip to the free throw line where they knocked down both free throws. It is hard to beat a team when they begin every quarter on fire and that is what happened to the Mystics. The Sparks looked as if they wanted the game more and that hunger for more helped the Sparks keep up their pace. Los Angeles found success as their defense turned to offense, steals ended with transition layups.. Meesseman was canceling out Parker in production, but others were much more involved on LA’s side of things offensively. The Sparks outscored Washington 30-12 in the paint during the half, giving them a 51-36 lead at the break.
The third quarter was Parker’s quarter. She did a great job of finding her own shots and distributing the ball to her teammates at the same time. The pace that she plays with is something that you do not see on a regular basis. Her entire offensive arsenal was on display. She hit a three point shot, she scored on tough midrange jump shots and layups, she found Ogwumike for a few baskets and she even blocked Krystal Thomas’s shot and took it coast to coast.
The fourth quarter began with a three pointer from the Sparks. This quarter went by pretty fast as the Mystics couldn’t sustain anything on either end to get back into the game. Meesseman sat out majority of this quarter so Shatori was the only Washington player whose shot was falling, she did it off the bounce by attacking the basket and knocked down a couple of jumpers as well. Her play was definitely one of the few bright spots for the Mystics in a game they need to quickly forget as they host the Mercury on Friday. The Sparks shot 61.5 percent en route to their largest margin of victory this season. The reigning champs are definitely starting to gear up for a title defense.