Sparks edge Mystics in battle of winless teams

Lexie Brown had 20 points and six assists and Cameron Brink blocked her fourth shot of the night in the game’s final second as the Los Angeles Sparks notched a 70-68 victory over the Washington Mystics on Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif.

Dearica Hamby added 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Sparks (1-2). Kia Nurse had 13 points for Los Angeles.

Julie Vanloo had 12 points and nine assists and Shakira Austin added 12 points and eight rebounds for Washington (0-4). Aaliyah Edwards added 10 points off the bench for the Mystics.

Washington trailed by two and had the ball in the final seconds when Austin received the ball in the post. She fumbled the ball, retrieved it and Brink blocked it with the ball landing out of bounds with 0.3 seconds left.

The Mystics inbounded the ball but were unable to get a shot off before the clock expired.

Washington also failed to take advantage of an earlier chance to take the lead when the Los Angeles defense forced a shot-clock violation with 16.7 seconds left.

After that twist, Brown made two free throws with 14.7 seconds left to give the Sparks a 69-66 lead before Ariel Atkins drove for a hoop for Washington with 10.9 seconds remaining. Nurse split two free throws to give the Sparks the two-point edge with 7.6 seconds left.

Brittney Sykes (ankle) missed her second consecutive game for the Mystics.

Nurse opened the final quarter with a 3-pointer 56 seconds into the frame to give Los Angeles a 58-55 lead and start a 10-1 spurt. Nurse hit another basket in the run to help build the advantage to 65-56 with 5:48 to play.

Washington countered with two free throws by Atkins and six straight points from Edwards to pull within 65-64 with 2:06 remaining.

Hamby hit a baseline jumper for the Sparks with 1:42 left before Austin made a turnaround jumper 18 seconds later to again bring the Mystics again to within one. But following a turnover and the late shot-clock violation, Washington was unable to completely close the gap.

Washington made 42.2 percent of its shots, including 8 of 25 from 3-point range. The Mystics committed 19 turnovers.

The Sparks hit 47.3 percent of their attempts and were 8 of 21 from behind the arc. Los Angeles committed 28 turnovers, however, leading to 26 Washington points.

Washington led 36-32 at halftime, despite Brown scoring 15 first-half points for Los Angeles.

Stefanie Dolson drained a 3-pointer with 31.3 seconds left in the third quarter for the Mystics to tie it at 55 entering the final stanza.

–Field Level Media