Sparks fall by two points at Atlanta for second consecutive loss
Tiffany Hayes scored a season-high 24 points, including a critical free throw with 12 seconds to play, and the Atlanta Dream handed the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks their second-straight loss, 75-73 on Saturday night.
After Hayes made one of two from the line, Atlanta (3-1) led 75-71. Chelsea Gray was fouled on a three-point shot with 6.8 seconds left and after making her first two attempts, missed the third on purpose. However, Hayes grabbed the rebound and released the ball down court as time ran out.
Layshia Clarendon was the only starter not in double figures for Atlanta. She had nine points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Gray led Los Angeles (2-2) with a career-high 25 points, 16 in the fourth quarter. Nneka Ogwumike added 15 points.
The Sparks led 32-29 at the half but Atlanta opened the second half with an 11-1 run and led 51-44 after three quarters.
Los Angeles had an 11-2 run opening the fourth quarter when the teams combined for 53 points.
Clarendon’s free throw had the Dream up by five with 25.8 seconds left before Candace Parker’s offensive rebound and basket with 13.1 seconds left made it 74-71.
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