Brittney Sykes, the sole Syracuse Orange representative in the WNBA this season, helped lead the Los Angeles Sparks (2-2) to their first wins of the season this weekend on the road against the Chicago Sky. Sykes, a 2017 Syracuse graduate, came off the bench and tallied 17 points, eight rebounds, and six steals in the two wins.
On Friday night, the Sparks earned their first win of the year by 15 points, 76-61. Sykes had an impressive night off the bench, tying a career-high of five steals in the first half. She ended the game with 11 points, five steals, five rebounds, and three assists.
“Everybody knows my identity,” Sykes said in the postgame press conference. “I come in, whenever I touch the floor, I’m looking to give energy. I’m looking to give offense and I’m looking to give a hell of a time on defense.”
11 | 5 | 5 | 3— Los Angeles Sparks (@LASparks) May 29, 2021
Brittney Sykes is making history - she’s just the 2nd player in league history to have 10+ PTS / 5+ REB / 5+ STL / 3+ AST off the bench - and the first for the franchise!
(H/t @WBBTimeline) @BrittBundlez | #RootedInLA pic.twitter.com/p23aRtyl3e
As a team, LA shot 39.4% from the field and 47.4% from three. Every Sparks player scored in the win, led by Nneka Ogwumike with 14 points and nine rebounds. LA forced 27 Chicago turnovers, a franchise record for the Sky. Chicago was lead by Diamond DeShields with 14 points. Ruthy Hebard (12 points) and Kahleah Cooper (11 points) also tallied double-figure scoring for the Sky.
On Sunday, the Sparks defeated the Sky for their second straight win of the season in overtime, 82-79. Sykes tallied six points, three rebounds, two blocks, and a steal off the bench.
Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks once again with 21 points and nine rebounds. Erica Wheeler (17 points), Amanda Zahui B. (17), and Nia Coffey (15) also tallied double-digits in the win. As a team, the Sparks shot 41.1% from the field and 44.4% from three. The Sky also had multiple players in double-figures, including Courtney Vandersloot (28 points), Ruthy Hebard (12), Kahleah Copper (11), and Azurá Stevens (11).
This weekend, we saw a completely different version of the LA Sparks. The team played more cohesively, found better offensive looks, and were able to kick their defense up a few notches behind Sykes. Sykes was not in the starting line-up this weekend, but she did average more minutes off the bench and saw a higher productivity level, helping her team back to .500:
- First two games starting: Eight points, four rebounds, two steals, one block
- Last two games off the bench: 17 points, eight rebounds, six steals, two blocks
The Sparks will battle the Dallas Wings for the second time this season on the road Tuesday, June 1 at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST on ESPN3. LA will then return home this weekend for match-ups against the Indiana Fever (Thursday, June 3 at 10:30 p.m. EST) and the Chicago Sky (Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m. EST).