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Orange in the Wubble: Brittney Sykes, Sparks clinch playoff spot

Brittney Sykes had a productive week for the Sparks, while Kayla Alexander continues to look for her footing with the Lynx.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Syracuse vs Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange alumnae Brittney Sykes and Kayla Alexander played on opposite benches Monday night in a match-up between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx ended the Sparks’ nine-game win streak with a 96-78 win.

Both former Orange women had quiet nights. Sykes was held to just four points, a rebound, and a block. Alexander did not make an appearance in her team’s win.

Sykes, the highest-drafted player in Syracuse WBB history (seventh overall), had one of her best performances this season Sunday night. Against her former team the Atlanta Dream, Sykes tallied a team-high 15 points and added four rebounds and three assists. With the win, L.A. became the third team in the league to clinch a playoff spot.

Sykes is in her first season with the Sparks after spending her first three WNBA seasons in ATL.

Sykes has appeared in 16 games this season, starting nine. She’s reached double-figure scoring eight times this season, including a season-best 23-point performance against the Dallas Wings last week.

Atlanta Dream v Minnesota Lynx Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

On a deep Minnesota team, Kayla Alexander is still looking for her space to shine.

This season she has played in just 14 games, averaging six minutes and 2.5 points. Alexander, Syracuse’s all-time leading scorer, was traded to the Lynx this offseason after stints with Chicago and Indiana the last two years. She spent her first five pro seasons with the San Antonio Stars, who became the Las Vegas Aces in 2017.

Los Angeles ranks third in the league standings with a 12-4 mark on the season. Minnesota sits right behind L.A. with an 11-5 record.

Monday’s game was previously scheduled for last Wednesday but was postponed due to a league-wide boycott in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisc.

Here’s what’s ahead for both players this week...

(all times ET)

Sparks Schedule for Week 6

  • Wed., Sept. 2 at 8 p.m.: No. 8 Dallas Wings (CBS Sports Network, Spectrum SportsNet)
  • Fri., Sept. 4 at 10 p.m.: No. 1 Seattle Storm (Facebook, Spectrum SportsNet, JoeTV)
  • Sun., Sept. 6 at 8 p.m.: No. 5 Chicago Sky (CBS Sports Network, Spectrum SportsNet, The U)

Lynx Schedule for Week 6

  • Wed., Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.: No. 5 Chicago Sky (Facebook, The U, Fox Sports North Plus)
  • Fri., Sept. 4 at 8 p.m.: No. 8 Dallas Wings (Facebook, Fox Sports Southwest Plus, Fox Sports North Plus)
  • Sun., Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.: No. 1 Seattle Storm (Facebook, Fox Sports North, JoeTV)