Injury-riddled Sparks fall into tie for last playoff spot with loss to Sun

Sparks guard Jordin Canada controls the ball during a 90-76 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday.
(Brian Babineau / NBAE via Getty Images)

Alyssa Thomas had 27 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds for her sixth triple-double of the season and the Connecticut Sun beat the Sparks 90-76 on Tuesday night.

Thomas also set the single-season assists mark, passing Courtney Vandersloot’s record of 300 set in 2019. The Sun’s point-forward has 304.

The Sparks (16-22) dropped into a tie with the Chicago Sky for the eighth and final playoff spot in the WNBA standings with two games remaining. The Sparks continue their three-game trip at New York on Thursday, followed by a trip to Seattle to close the season Sunday. The Sky hold the tiebreaker with the Sparks.

The Sparks used a six-game winning streak to put themselves in the middle of WNBA playoff contention. A three-game slide has them tied for eighth.

Sept. 1, 2023

DeWanna Bonner added 25 points and Tiffany Hayes scored 13 for Connecticut (26-12), which is locked into the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. Thomas was 11 for 13 from the field and had six steals.

Azurá Stevens and Dearica Hamby each scored 18 points for the Sparks. Layshia Clarendon and Rae Burrell added 13 points apiece. Nneka Ogwumike (knee) did not play for the second straight game.

Connecticut led 49-36 at the break after shooting 54% from the field, including six for 12 from three-point range. Bonner scored 15 points in the half and Thomas had 10 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Four of the Sparks’ 12 field goals were from three-point range.


The Sparks got within 72-66 early in the fourth quarter. But Thomas answered with a layup and she found Hayes for a three-pointer on their next possession to regain a double-digit lead.