August 02, 2014

The Los Angeles Sparks are coming off their biggest victory of the season as they prepare to entertain the struggling Connecticut Sun on Sunday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles (12-1) won its first 11 games before falling to Minnesota, which won its first 13 games to set a WNBA record. Minnesota beat Los Angeles 72-69 on June 21 at Staples Center, knocking the Sparks from the ranks of the unbeaten.

The Sparks returned the favor 72 hours later at Target Center in Minneapolis, winning 94-76 to hand the Lynx their first loss of the season.

Kristi Toliver scored a season-high 25 points and tied her career high with seven 3-pointers in the Sparks' victory over the Lynx. Nneka Ogwumike posted 20 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles, which ended the game with a 21-6 run in the final 4:22.

Connecticut (3-11) is making the second stop on a four-game road trip that will take the Sun to Phoenix and Dallas next week. Before embarking on the trip, the Sun posted a 93-90 victory over San Antonio at home on June 19, but Connecticut suffered a 98-81 loss at Seattle on Friday.

Alex Bentley scored 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting from the field in the loss to Seattle. Shekinna Stricklen came off the bench to score 12 points for Connecticut, which trailed by 19 at the break after surrendering 56 first-half points.

Seattle shot 61.4 percent from the floor against Connecticut while holding the Sun to 37.6 percent shooting.

The Sparks are fourth in the WNBA in scoring and first in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 71.8 points per game. The Sun are ninth in scoring and 10th in points allowed, giving up an average of 87.9 points.

Ogwumike is 10th in the WNBA in scoring at 17.2 points per game and leads the league in field-goal percentage at 68.9 percent. Toliver is second in 3-point shooting at 49.4 percent.

Bentley leads Connecticut in scoring, averaging 13.5 points per game. Jasmine Thomas averages 11.4 points and 4.7 assists.

Los Angeles is beginning a six-game homestand. The Sparks then play nine in a row on the road.

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