Ogwumike, Parker spark Los Angeles' run through the WNBA
NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA season is at the midway point and Los Angeles has definitely been the surprise of the season.
The Sparks are 16-1, the second-best start in league history trailing only Houston which won 20 of its first 21 games in 1998. Los Angeles, led by Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker, was a unanimous No. 1 choice Tuesday in The Associated Press WNBA power poll .
The team also owns the rights to Connecticut's pick in next year's draft meaning Los Angeles could win the league and get the No. 1 selection since the Sun are sitting in the lottery again.
Ogwumike is having an MVP-caliber season for the Sparks. She's averaging 18.4 points while shooting a blistering 70 percent from the field.
''She has been playing at an incredible level,'' Sparks coach Brian Agler said.
POWER POLL: The top four teams remained the same with Phoenix jumping up to fifth. A look at this week's WNBA poll:
1. Los Angeles (16-1): The Sparks close out a six-game homestand against Indiana and Washington.
2. Minnesota (14-3): The Lynx ended a rare-three game slide with a blowout win over San Antonio. Minnesota has a busy week ahead with three games.
3. New York (12-6): Finishing 2-1 on a difficult road trip, the Liberty play three games this week.
4. Washington (9-9): Mystics continue season-long road trip with games in San Antonio, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
5. Phoenix (8-10): Winners of four of their last five games, the Mercury are looking strong. Two of three games this week are on the road.
6. Chicago (7-9): Ended a four-game skid, need to be more consistent on defense to stay in the playoff hunt.
7. Dallas (8-10): The Wings have been playing teams close lately, but haven't been able to get over the hump - losing three of their four games by a combined 13 points.
8. Indiana (7-10): If the season was over, Tamika Catchings would find her career ending before the playoffs began. Fever looking to avoid letting their star go out missing the postseason.
9. Atlanta (8-9): Michael Cooper's team will try and end a six-game skid.
10. Seattle (6-10): Breanna Stewart has been nearly as good as expected. She and Jewell Loyd need a little more help but Storm should be a playoff contender for years to come.
11. Connecticut (4-13): Three of their four wins have come against potential lottery teams. The Sun are at home this week for two games.
12. San Antonio (4-13): A tough season got worse as Kayla McBride injured her ankle in last game. She could be out awhile.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: For the second time this season, Nneka Ogwumike earned AP player of the week honors. She helped the Sparks go 3-0 this week averaging 22.3 points and 10 rebounds. Other players receiving votes were Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart of Seattle.
BLOCK PARTY: Brittney Griner had the sixth triple-double in the league history during the regular season with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks against Atlanta on Sunday. It was the first in the league since 2014 and the third of them to do it with blocks. After a slow start to the season, Griner has taken over the league-lead in blocks.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Sky at Lynx, 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday night. Chicago finds itself sitting in the eighth spot overall and struggling to find any consistency. Elena Delle Donne's squad has a tough week ahead with games against Minnesota, New York and Phoenix.