Nneka Ogwumike scores 16 points as Sky rout Sparks

Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike shoots a free throw against the Chicago Sky.
Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike scored 16 points in the team’s 80-68 loss to the Chicago Sky on Thursday.
(Kamil Krzaczynski / Associated Press)
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Rookie Rebekah Gardner came off the bench to score 18 points and grab 10 rebounds to lift the Chicago Sky to an 80-68 victory over the Sparks on Thursday night.

Gardner hit eight of 11 shots, had four offensive boards and four assists to help Chicago improve to a WNBA-best 18-6. Fellow reserve Azura Stevens scored 14, hitting six of seven shots with two three-pointers. Candace Parker had 11 rebounds but missed all 11 of her shots and didn’t score.

Nneka Ogwumike had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Sparks (10-14) while younger sister Chiney Ogwumike added 14 points and 13 boards. Katie Lou Samuelson and Brittney Sykes both scored 12.


The Sky trailed 17-16 after one quarter before outscoring the Sparks 52-31 over the next two.

Chicago has won three straight and eight of its last nine, while the Sparks have lost three straight.