Preview: Wings at Sparks

Dallas Wings (7-8) at Los Angeles Sparks (13-1)

Date: Tuesday, June 28

Time: 9:00 PM (CDT)

Site: Staples Center

Television: ESPN2

 

 

Probable Starters

Wings: Karima Christmas, Glory Johnson, Plenette Pierson, Odyssey Sims, Skylar Diggins

Sparks: Essence Carson, Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Alana Beard, Kristi Toliver

 

Storylines

After playing six of their last eight games at home, the Wings head out this week on a west coast road trip to Los Angeles and Seattle. Dallas is 3-3 on the road this season with wins at Indiana, Washington, and Phoenix.

The Dallas Wings and Los Angeles Sparks face off for the second time this season. In the previous matchup in Arlington, LA beat the Wings 97-73. Dallas enters the game with 7-8 record, good for third in the Western Conference, while Los Angeles stands at the top of the league standings with a 13-1 record. .

In Saturday night’s loss to the Indiana Fever, Dallas forward Karima Christmas became the first Wings player to lead the team in both points and rebounds in a single game this season. Christmas notched her third double-double in 2016 with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Over the last five games, the Wings lead the league with 97.8 points per game. In that time, the Wings are shooting 45 percent from the field, an improvement from their 40 percent season average.

Through 15 games this season, the Wings are the league’s top offensive rebounding team, averaging 12.2 per game. Center Courtney Paris (3.3) and Christmas (2.9) stand at the top of league leaders in offensive rebounds per game.

Forward Theresa Plaisance played 12:41 on Saturday vs. Indiana, her highest minute total since playing 13:39 at Washington on May 18. Plaisance missed five of the Wings 11 games in that time with an ankle injury.

 

 

What the Wings are saying about the west coast road trip…

Head Coach Fred Williams- “We want to come out with a couple of victories if we can. The main thing is playing hard and shooting the ball well, and playing some good defense on the other end.

“Seattle has made some improvements scoring-wise, especially at home. LA has made a lot of improvements with their bench scoring and at the point guard position. Both teams have improved, just like we have. We have improved also. We just want to keep building on what we’ve been doing, and that’s playing competitive basketball.”

Assistant coach Ed Baldwin- “LA is a very good team. They share the ball. They’ve got a lot of talent and they create bad mismatches. That is the biggest thing for us. Defensively, we’ve got to be very sound and we have to run our patterns offensively. I think if we play hard and the way we are capable, we’ll be in the game.”

Guard Erin Phillips- “The Sparks are the same team from when we played them earlier. They are playing great. Obviously, they had a big win against Minnesota. We’re just going to have to come in and a play them hard and try to stop their streak.”

Guard Brianna Kiesel- “LA is a veteran team that is playing really well. Seattle is a young team where everyone is getting touches. We just have to go there in both and battle. We just have to play hard and play our game.”