Sparks Outlast Shock
A dominating defensive effort by Candace Parker catalyzed the Sparks to their sixth win in a row at home as they defeated the Shock, 95-79, at Staples Center on June 20.
Parker had a career high nine blocks to go along with 33 points, eight rebounds and four assists to lead the Sparks. The Shock were led by Glory Johnson's 19 points. Temeka Johnson, Ivory Latta and Riquna Williams added 11, 10 and 10 respectively.
“We were a little soft defensively in the first half," Head Coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "In the second half, we at least fought them a little more, pressured them. But they have a really good team. They are just as talented as Minnesota. This team, as they develop and keep getting better, they have a chance.”
University of Oklahoma standout Courtney Paris had 11 points and eight rebounds on 5-of-9 shooting from the field in her Shock debut.
“We’re getting better, and now we’re just dealing with some injuries. We only had Courtney for one practice, and I thought she did a good job. She’s someone we can utilize for sure,” Kloppenburg said. “This a good chance for Courtney to get in the best shape she’s been in, so she can get stability in her career. I think it can work for her here. She wants to put in the extra work, and it’s a great opportunity for her here.”
The Shock played only eight players as Jennifer Lacy, Scholanda Dorrell and Chante Black were all out with injuries. Lacy and Dorrell are scheduled to be out for another four-to-six weeks as they each recover from right knee injuries that may require surgery. Black is listed as day-to-day with a jaw injury.
The Sparks shot 54.3 percent from the field while the Shock shot just 37.1 percent. The Shock has now failed to shoot 40 percent from the field in eight of their first 11 games this season.
“We need to talk to each other more on the court, and rotation has to be there," Glory Johnson said. "It was hard because people didn’t know where to go, and didn’t get there fast enough. We need to trust each other and we have a lot to work on.”