July 14, 2014

After absorbing their second loss of the season, the Los Angeles Sparks will try to bounce back when they visit the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Los Angeles (20-2) sits atop the Western Conference with the WNBA's best record, 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Minnesota Lynx. The Sparks are coming off perhaps their poorest performance of the season, a 91-74 loss to the Atlanta Dream on Sunday.

Nneka Ogwumike had 26 points and 12 rebounds for Los Angeles. Candace Parker compiled 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists. The Sparks were hurt by Atlanta's Layshia Clarendon, who had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Los Angeles went into the contest allowing just 75.1 points per game, the best mark in the WNBA. The Sparks have not been as diligent on defense in the past two games, giving up a season-high 92 points in an overtime victory against the Connecticut Sun on Friday and 91 points in the loss to Atlanta.

Indiana (10-12) is tied for third in the Eastern Conference, six games behind the first-place New York Liberty. The Fever won three of their past four games, including a 78-72 victory on Friday over the Atlanta squad that upset Los Angeles two days later.

Tamika Catchings and Lynetta Kizer scored 18 points apiece in the win over Atlanta. The Fever shot 51.7 percent from the field and held Angel McCoughtry, the Dream's top scorer at 18.9 points per game, to 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting.

Los Angeles and Indiana will be meeting for the second time in less than two weeks. The Sparks beat the Fever 94-88 on July 6 at Staples Center after Parker blocked a shot in the final seconds to preserve the victory. Los Angeles led 80-60 with 6:22 remaining before Indiana stormed back.

Ogwumike scored 23 points to lead five players in double figures for the Sparks. Tiffany Mitchell came off the bench to score 20 points for the Fever. A 3-pointer by Mitchell with 12 seconds remaining cut Indiana's deficit to one, but Los Angeles held on to win.

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