Sparks-Sun Preview

The Los Angeles Sparks will be seeking their ninth consecutive victory when they visit the Connecticut Sun on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Los Angeles (19-1) sits atop the Western Conference with the WNBA's best record. The Sparks have won eight in a row since suffering a 72-69 loss to the then-unbeaten Minnesota Lynx, who are second in the Western Conference with a 17-4 record.

Connecticut (6-14) is last in the Eastern Conference, nine games behind the first-place New York Liberty. The Sun have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, winning three of their last four games.

The Sparks are in the early stages of a nine-game road trip that will be broken up by a monthlong league shutdown for the Summer Olympics. They will not play another home game until Sept. 4.

Los Angeles began the road trip with a 77-67 victory over the Chicago Sky on Wednesday. Nneka Ogwumike had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Kristi Toliver scored 13 points, Jantel Lavender had 12 points, and Candace Parker added 11 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

The Sparks shot 55 percent from the field and held the Sky to 39.2 percent shooting.

Connecticut is coming off an 86-64 victory over the Indiana Fever on Wednesday. Chiney Ogwumike had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Sun. Alyssa Thomas had 14 points and seven rebounds.

Connecticut lost six in a row and 12 of 13 while sliding to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings early in the season. The Sun have won three of four since then, beating the Dallas Wings, Minnesota and Indiana.

Los Angeles is paced by Nneka Ogwumike, who leads the WNBA in field-goal percentage, shooting 71.2 percent from the field. She is seventh in scoring and fifth in rebounding, averaging 19.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Toliver is third in 3-point shooting (.461) and teammate Essence Carson is fourth (.459).

Alex Bentley leads Connecticut in scoring at 14.2 points per game. Jasmine Thomas is fourth in the WNBA in assists, averaging 4.8 per game.

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