Los Angeles (12-4) at Seattle (7-9)
When: Saturday, July 8th 2017
Where: Key Arena, Seattle, WA
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: League Pass
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -3.5/161
The Los Angeles Sparks hope the loss to the WNBA’s top team will serve as motivation going forward and will look to rebound against the Seattle Storm on the road at Key Arena on Saturday night. Seattle is also looking to bounce back from a poor stretch that has seen them lose eight of their last 11 games including a 79-70 home setback to the New York Liberty on Thursday night. Seattle led throughout most of the first half, but poor shooting and fouls ultimately did them in. There were two bright spots in the loss for the Storm in guard Sami Whitcomb and center Breanna Stewart, the top pick in the 2016 draft. Whitcomb scored eight of Seattle’s 15 third quarter points to get the Storm within two. Stewart recorded a double-double, leading the Storm with 20 points and 14 points after scoring a season-high 30 points in her previous game. Veteran Sue Bird was off her game against the Liberty, shooting 1-of-8 including 0-for-4 from beyond the arc. The Storm, who are 5-4 at home, will play their next four at Key Arena.
The Sparks will have to wait until August 11th to face the Lynx again after falling to the league’s best 88-77 on Thursday night. With the first of three matchups against Minnesota in their rear-view mirror, the Sparks have about 48 hours to move on from the loss that snapped their eight-game win streak. The Lynx led by 19 points in the first half, but the Sparks made a second-half run behind Nneka Ogwumike, who led all scorers with 27 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. Candace Parker, who on Wednesday was named Western Conference Player of the Week, was held to just two points on 1-of-6 shooting. Chelsea Gray, whose minutes have doubled since last season, was the only other Sparks player to score in double figures as she recorded 16 points. Gray is averaging 16.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game on the season. After Saturday’s contest with Seattle, the Sparks will play six of their next seven at home with the lone road game coming at San Antonio on July 28th.
I expect the Storm to come out with more aggression than Los Angeles as the Sparks will still be thinking about Thursday’s loss. Seattle is only a game out of the playoff seeding right now and will pull the upset at home. Seattle has covered the last four meetings in Seattle. Take the points.
Pick: Storm +3.5
HEAD TO HEAD