Sparks’ late rally falls short in loss to Storm in Seattle

Sparks center Liz Cambage tries to power her way through the defense of Seattle's Stephanie Talbot and Ezi Magbegor.
Sparks center Liz Cambage tries to power her way through the defense of the Storm’s Stephanie Talbot and Ezi Magbegor during the first half Friday night in Seattle.
(Steph Chambers / Getty Images)

Breanna Stewart scored 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting and the Seattle Storm held on for an 83-80 victory Friday night over the Sparks, who rallied from 13 points down in the final 3:27 of play and had a chance to tie the score on the game’s final play.

Stephanie Talbot made a three-pointer to give Seattle, which never trailed, a 41-23 lead with 6:15 left in the second quarter. The Storm took a 16-point lead when Sue Bird made a three early in the second half, and it was 79-69 when Stewart made a jumper with 3:27 to play.

Liz Cambage scored four points during an 8-0 run by the Sparks but Stewart answered with a driving layup and, after Cambage slipped a pass between two defenders to Nneka Ogwumike for an easy basket, Bird hit two free throws to make it 83-79 with 45.5 seconds left.


After Cambage split a pair of free throws and the Sparks got a stop, Ogwumike missed a wide-open look at a potential tying corner three-pointer as time expired.

Cambage led Los Angeles with 25 points and eight rebounds. Ogwumike added 20 points and Brittney Sykes scored 10.

Ezi Magbegor had nine points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals for Seattle. Jewell Loyd added 11 points for the Storm (3-3) and has reached double-figure scoring in 155 games since 2016 — most in the WNBA.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 22 points, but the Minnesota Lynx spoiled the Sparks’ home opener in the final seconds, handing them an 87-84 loss on Tuesday.

Seattle made 29 field goals and had 27 assists.

The Sparks (2-4) have lost four in a row after back-to-back wins to start the season — including 98-91 win over the Chicago Sky, the 2021 WNBA champions, in the opener.