LOS ANGELES – Clinging to the 4th and final playoff spot in the WNBA Western Conference the L.A. Sparks (11-14) host the Indiana Fever (12-13) tonight at Staples Center.
They’ll have to end a five-game home losing streak without the services of defending league MVP and Sparks leading scorer Candace Parker who is out with a left knee strain that’s been nagging her since the All-Star break two weeks ago.
The Sparks will be wearing pink uniforms for Breast Cancer Awareness and Health Night.
Since Carol Ross was relieved of her coaching duties July 20th and replaced by Vice President and GM Penny Toler, the Sparks have lost tow of three finally getting into that win column with a 77-69 win in Seattle over the Storm for their 4th straight road win.
One of those four straight road wins came in Indianapolis with the Sparks recording 86-78 win over the Fever.
Parker registered a season-high 34 points in the win, her 11th career 30+ point regular season game.
In those four wins the Sparks have held the opposition to ten or less points during second-half quarter holding the Liberty to just four in the 4th quarter of a 68-54 win in New York. The Sparks held the Connecticut Sun and Seattle Storm to 10 third quarter points and the Fever to 10 fourth quarter points
Sparks guard Kristi Tolliver knocked down three three-pointers on her way to 22 points in the win at Indiana.
When Tolliver hits two or more three-pointers the Sparks are 5-4.
With nine games left in the regular season, Los Angeles holds a two-and-a-half game lead over the Tulsa Shock for the 4th and final playoff spot.
The Fever are led by nine-time WNBA All-Star and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Tameka Catchings. She’s the league’s active career leader in rebounds, steals, free throws and double-doubles. Catchings is second among active leaders in scoring and block shots.
Through the last eight games Catchings is averaging 16 points and seven rebounds notching 20 points in five of those eight games. Indiana’s coming off of a 75-68 win over the Silver Stars in San Antonio Friday night.
Tip-off for tonight’s game is set for 7:40.