Sparks defeat the Dream to keep playoff hopes alive

Sparks guard Brittney Sykes brings the ball up the court.
Sparks guard Brittney Sykes led her team with 17 points on Thursday night in a win over Atlanta.
(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Brittney Sykes scored 17 points, Nneka Ogwumike had 15 points and 10 rebounds and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Atlanta Dream 74-68 on Thursday night to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Los Angeles (12-19) is in ninth place, a half-game behind the Washington Mystics for the final playoff spot. The Sparks close the regular season Sunday against Dallas. The Mystics (12-18) play at New York (11-20) on Friday and host Minnesota on Sunday.

Te’a Cooper contributed 14 points and Nia Coffey had 10 for Los Angeles.

Tiffany Hayes led Atlanta (8-23) with 25 points for her eighth 20-point game of the season. Courtney Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Odyssey Sims added 11 points.


The Dream play WNBA-leading Connecticut on Sunday to close their regular season. Atlanta is 1 1/2 games ahead of last-place Indiana.