Sparks cruise past the Dream for sixth consecutive win

Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike attempts a reverse layup against the defense of Dream forward Aneika Henry-Morello during the first half Friday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Candace Parker scored 15 points and the Los Angeles Sparks built an early double-digit lead en route to an easy 81-56 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Friday night.

Los Angeles (25-8) has won six straight and is a game back of the Minnesota Lynx (26-7) for the No. 1 seed into the playoffs.

The Sparks host the Connecticut Sun while the Lynx face the Washington Mystics at home to conclude the regular season on Sunday. The Sparks beat Minnesota 78-67 on Aug. 27 and own the tiebreaker over the Lynx. Atlanta (12-21) was eliminated from the postseason.

Nneka Ogwumike and Odyssey Sims added 13 points apiece for the Sparks. Jantel Lavender chipped in 12 points.


Tiffany Hayes scored 19 points to lead Atlanta, which committed a season-high 19 turnovers.

Parker picked up her 1,000th career assist in the first quarter with a pass to Chelsea Gray, who made a 26-footer.

Gray made another three-pointer on the Sparks’ next possession to cap a 14-2 opening run as Los Angeles built a 43-29 halftime lead. Gray finished with eight points.