BRADENTON, Fla. — Nneka Ogwumike scored 21 points and Seimone Augustus added 14 and the Los Angeles Sparks used a big third quarter to beat the Phoenix Mercury 99-75 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
The 2020 WNBA season, delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic, will be played in a bubble at the IMG Academy.
Oguwmike and Augustus combined to make all 14 of their shots. Augustus was playing her first game with Los Angeles after signing as a free agent from Minnesota in the offseason. Chelsea Gray and Candace Parker had 13 points apiece, and Brittney Sykes and Te’a Cooper each scored 10.
Diana Taurasi, who missed most of last season with back and hamstring injuries, led Phoenix with 16 points, Skylar Diggins-Smith added 14 points and six assists.
Los Angeles outscored the Mercury 30-8 in the third quarter to take an 80-54 lead into the fourth. Augustus and Gray had nine points apiece in the period. The Sparks made 12 of 18 from the field while limiting Phoenix to 27% (3 of 11) shooting.
The Mercury committed 27 turnovers — their most since 2016 — including nine in the third quarter.