Dallas Wings (9-19) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (22-5)
Date: Friday, September 2
Time: 7:30 PM (CT)
Site: College Park Center
Television: TEXAS 47, Time Warner Cable Sports Net
Wings: Karima Christmas, Plenette Pierson, Courtney Paris, Odyssey Sims, Skylar Diggins
Sparks: Essence Carson, Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Alana Beard, Kristi Toliver
The Wings and Sparks face off for the third and final time this season. Despite Odyssey Sims’ 18 points and Skylar Diggins and Aerial Powers’ 29 combined off the bench, the Wings fell 97-73 to the Sparks on June 11 at home. Dallas travelled to Los Angeles on June 28, where the Sparks outscored the Wings 55-31 in second half to take the 89-84 victory.
The Wings continue to fight for a playoff spot in the competitive league. Wednesday night’s loss to Seattle brings Dallas’ record to 9-19, 2.5 games behind the Storm for eighth place in the league standings. Including Friday night’s game, the Wings have six games remaining.
The Sparks come to Arlington on the tail end of a back-to-back. Los Angeles and San Antonio face off on Thursday night in San Antonio. LA is one of three teams to have clinched a playoff berth (Minnesota and New York), and currently stand second in the WNBA standings.
Dallas and Los Angeles are two top-five offenses in the WNBA this season. The Wings are averaging 83.5 points per game (5th) on 40 percent shooting while the Sparks are averaging 84.6 (4th) on 49 percent shooting.
Second chance points will be a key point for the Wings offense. Dallas leads the league in offensive rebounds per game, and averages 15 points per game off of second chances. The Wings have outscored their opponents in second chance points in all but five games this season.
The Wings defense will have to step up to create pressure on the Sparks offense. Los Angeles leads the league in assists per game and also has the league’s highest assist-to-turnover ratio.
What the Wings are saying…
Head Coach Fred Williams- “You just can’t back down on the Sparks. You have to come out and play. With their offensive explosiveness and the way they play the game, you have to match their energy especially on defense.”
“We’re keeping our minds on one game at a time and keep playing hard. The ball hasn’t bounced our way a few times. We’re just consistently trying to play hard and finish strong. We just have to keep at it.”
Assistant coach Bridget Pettis- “It’s very important for us to create pressure on defense and come out to play hard, and play hard longer than what we have been. We have to pull off a full 40-minute game.”
Guard Erin Phillips- “You need to make a team like LA feel uncomfortable because once they get going they are a really hard team to stop. Like I said, it’s going to be important to crowd them and disrupt them as much as we can.”
Guard Tiffany Bias- “We need to create ball pressure, and not let them create easy passes or let them get the ball to where they want it to go. I think we’ll be fine as long as we make it hard for LA to get them in to their place.”
“I think that we are all focused on getting a win tonight. Anything can happen as long as we play our game and don’t let our mistakes dictate the game.”