Los Angeles Sparks trailed most of the game but the WNBA most improved player Kristi Toliver lead the team to a game one win over San Antonio. Toliver led the Sparks in scoring with 29 points, 1 rebound and 2 assist.
Candace Parker followed putting on the board 25 point, 9 rebounds and 2 assist. Though the Sparks started the contest extremely slow showing that the week layoff between games did not help. The team did not get into the game till midway through the second quarter. The Sparks in the first half was having trouble containing the San Antonio transition game that was very dominate in the first half and the beginning of the second. A lack of energy was very visible in the teams play.
“We need to come out with more aggression and energy,” Parker said. “We were kind of dead the first couple of quarters.”
In the second half of the third quarter the Sparks switch roles and started playing the defense we have seen from this team all season taking advantage of free throw opportunities and transition buckets that helped them tie the game in the beginning of the fourth which helped them seal the win at the Galen Center home of the USC Trojans basketball.
San Antonio point guard Becky Hammons said about the San Antonio breakdown in the second half, “We got a little undisciplined defensively.” Hammons added, “They hit some tough shots. We didn’t get to the free throw line much. We just didn’t get awarded for the aggressiveness.”
The game had to be relocated due to a Batman show being held at the Sparks home Staples Center. The Sparks will now move to San Antonio for Game 2 on Saturday, September 29 at 12pm. San Antonio will face the same situation on there home court asÂ San Antonio will be moved from the AT&T Center to the Freeman Coliseum due to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert being held at AT&T Center.
Game 3 if necessary will be at Staples Center on Monday. If the Sparks can win Saturday the Western Conference Finals will begin Thursday, October 5.