Stewart, Bird sit as Storm falls to Sparks 78-68 in opener

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Nneka Ogwumike scored 23 points, newcomer Odyssey Sims added 20 and the Los Angeles Sparks opened defense of their WNBA title with a 78-68 victory over the Seattle Storm on Saturday.

Both teams were missing key players Candace Parker, Essence Carson and Jantel Lavender are still competing in the Turkish league playoffs and were absent as the Sparks raised their third championship banner with Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant in attendance.

The Storm announced before the game that Sue Bird and last season’s rookie of the year, Breanna Stewart, are still recovering from knee issues and are day-to-day.

Ogwumike, last season’s MVP, was 10 of 20 from the floor. Sims, acquired in a trade with Dallas after losing point guard Kristi Toliver to Washington, was 9 of 15 coming off the bench.

The Sparks led by one at halftime and took the lead for good on rookie Sydney Wiese’s first WNBA field goal, a 3-pointer, for a 50-47 lead late in the third quarter.

The Storm was within three with five minutes left but Ogwumike made consecutive baskets for a 10-point lead with three minutes to go.

Jewell Loyd scored 25 points but committed nine of Seattle’s 24 turnovers that turned into 29 Sparks points.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Carroll thrilled to see Adams in Seahawks uniform

The newly acquired safety hit the field for the first time with his teammates Wednesday.

Mariners melt down late in loss to Rangers

Seattle’s bullpen blows a two-run lead in the eighth inning and the M’s lose to Texas 7-4.

Pac-12 leaders cancel fall sports, including football

The league shuts down all athletic competitions until at least Jan. 1 due to the ongoing pandemic.

Community sports roundup: Perkins wins ARCA race in Monroe

Plus, Miranda Granger’s fight is called off, a local track athlete is headed to EWU and more.

Storm rout Dream for 6th straight win

Jewell Loyd and Sami Whitcomb star as streaking Seattle rolls to a 100-63 victory.

Silvertips’ season delayed further due to pandemic

The WHL announced Thursday that the target start date for the 2020-21 season is now. Dec. 4.

Emerald Sound Conference opts to start play during Season 2

The 14-team league will make its debut in Season 2 with basketball and wrestling.

Meet the M’s pitcher who went from rural Minnesota to the bigs

How Mariners reliever Joey Gerber went from playing small-town ball to facing Albert Pujols.

Whidbey Island’s three high schools postpone sports

The leagues made the decision and the coaches approve.

Most Read