Candace Parker leads the Los Angeles Sparks defeat the Phoenix Mercury to secure home court advantage on Breast Health Awareness Night.
The Los Angeles Sparks clinched home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with tonightâ€™s win over the Phoenix Mercury, 86-67. The outstanding defense that has helped lead the Sparks to a home record of 15 wins and 1 loss was on display at Staples Center. The team extended itsâ€™ record to 23-10 on the 2012 season with the playoffs about to start.
Candace Parker finished the game with another double double with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assist in the game. Parker said about the game, â€œWe canâ€™t ever relax, We have shown in the past when we relax teams are able to come back on us.â€ She added, â€œWe are preparing for something bigger.â€
The fist half was dominated by the Sparks and their protect home court attitude at all cost worked again bringing an end to the first half with the score of 54 to 40 at the half. They caused Phoenix to turn the ball over 13 time in the first half.
â€œI am just really proud of this team for positioning themselves through a long season to secure the home court and protecting it,â€ said Sparks Head Coach Carol RossÂ on the win tonight and securing home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Addition to tonightâ€™s game the Los Angeles Sparks held their annual Breast Health Awareness Night. The team wore pink uniforms and shoes in the support of a cure and the awareness of breast cancer. During half time they honored all the survivors from Breast Cancer and remembered all that have been lost in the fight.
â€œI told the team before the game this is not about LA or Phoenix this is the one game we shift our attention away from ourselves and our opponent,â€ said Coach Ross. Ross added, â€œWhen you put on that pink uniform on and pink sneakers it is all about the survivors, its an awareness and lets fight for them the people who did not make it through and lets represent this night the best way we can.â€
Nneka Ogwumike said about the special night, â€œFor us to dedicate just one game to the cause and awareness plus the cure.â€ Candace Parker said, â€œIt means alot Coach said before the game we are playing for a bigger cause and the battle that they fight is nothing compared to what we do.â€ Parker added, â€œIt is nice to stop and honor those who fought so hard and survived and also honor those who passed on.â€
The Sparks will play the final game of the 2012 season this Thursday, September 20 against the first place team in the West, Minnesota Lynx at 7:30pm at Staples Center and then prepare for the teams first playoff game since the 2010 season.