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Unfazed By History, Sparks Continue Championship Quest With Fever In Sights

The Los Angeles Sparks may be in the midst of a historic run, tying the 1998 Houston Comets for the best start in WNBA history (20-2), but they are downplaying their success thus far. In fact, they weren’t even aware of the record, and have just one ultimate goal in mind.

“The [record] was never a focus of ours,” guard Alana Beard said. “We actually joked about it, I didn’t realize we were going for the record Sunday and that’s a testament to how much we actually think about it. … The record means nothing if you don’t have that championship at the end, so that’s our focus.”

The Sparks are hoping their fate is different than that of the Golden State Warriors, who broke the NBA’s all-time regular seasons win record with 73, but came up short in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Los Angeles is hunting down the hardware, not the regular season award.

Still, how can such a successful team not get complacent during the season?

“I think Coach [Agler] has done a good job of just preaching the little things. … We’ve kind of broken things down into having little series against every opponent and the goal is to win every series,” guard Kristi Toliver said. “We don’t take things for granted, we know how hard it is to get wins in this league. On any given day, any team can beat anyone and we’re very mindful of that.”

The Sparks head to Indiana to face the Fever for the second time this season on Tuesday night, hoping to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time this year. By using their short-term, series mentality, the Sparks are seeking to get back in the win column and roll right into the Olympic break to rest up for the latter part of the season.

WNBA Player of the Week Nneka Ogwumike will look to continue her incredible shooting (would-be WNBA record 71.4% from the field) and fantastic overall season when she matches up against Tamika Catchings and the tough Fever defense.

Elena Delle Donne and Nneka Ogwumike named East and West Players of the Week. #WatchMeWork

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