By Johnni Matthews
The Los Angeles Sparks ended a tough three game road trip in New York on Sunday against the New York Liberty losing 79-70 in another hard fought battle with only eight players available to run on the hardwood. With All-Star, Nneka Ogwumike back from injury, starting her second straight game another veteran All-Star teammate, Kristi Toliver made her debut this season for the Sparks leading her team in scoring with a career high 30 points on 9-15 from the field. Oliver was 3-5 from the long range three ball and a perfect 9-9 from the charity stripe. Jantel Lavender, the most consistent Sparks player this season had another strong game with 14 points and 6 rebounds.
It was a very competitive game for thirty five minutes of the forty minute game as the Liberty took control in the last 5:07 minutes of the game. The game was tied at 63 a piece with 5:07 in the fourth quarter, but the Sparks had another melt down as the Liberty outscored the Sparks 16-7! As one Sparks commentator said, “The Sparks ran out of gas; their out of town and out of luck!”
Guard, Sugar Rodgers was special for the Liberty with a team high 23 points. Sugar got help from teammates, Tina Charles and Tanisha Wright respectively with 14 and 12 points.
The win kept the New York Liberty above .500 with a 5-4 record, while the LA Sparks head home 0-7 to get acquainted with each other and regroup to get ready for the San Antonio Stars who come to town on Thursday, July 2 to play the Sparks. It is a 7:30 p.m. tip off from Staples Center.