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Syracuse in the WNBA: Brittney Sykes, L.A. Sparks split week games

Brittney Sykes recorded 25 points and nine rebounds off the bench in two games last week

Los Angeles Sparks v Phoenix Mercury Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Brittney Sykes, the sole Syracuse Orange representative in the WNBA this season, took the court this week for the Los Angeles Sparks (6-8). Sykes, a 2017 SU graduate, tallied 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists, four steals, and three blocks off the bench in two games.

On Thursday, the Sparks defeated the Washington Mystics (7-8) in LA, 89-82. Sykes recorded 14 points, three rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and a steal off the bench in the victory.

Los Angeles shot 51.6% from the floor and 58.8% from three. Four Sparks players tallied double-figure scoring including Te’a Cooper (26 points), Amanda Zahui B. (17), Sykes (14), and Karlie Samuelson (13 points).

Washington shot 40.6% from the field and 40.7% from three. Four Mystic players scored double-digits, including Leilani Mitchell (26 points), Tina Charles (25), Ariel Atkins (12), and Theresa Plaisance (11).

On Sunday night, the Sparks fell to the Phoenix Mercury (7-7) 88-79. Sykes recorded her fifth consecutive and seventh total double-figure game this season. The former Orange tallied 11 points, six rebounds, a game-high four assists, three steals, and a block off the bench.

LA connected on 41.9% of shots from the field and 30% from three. Four Sparks players tallied double-digits including Erica Wheeler (21 points), Cooper (20), Sykes (11), and Zahui B (10).

Phoenix shot 45.2% from the field and 42.9% from three in the game. Four Mercury players scored in double-figures, including Diana Taurasi (25), Brittney Griner (22), former Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins-Smith (16), and Kia Nurse (13). During Sunday’s contest, Taurasi became the first WNBA player to reach 9,000 career points.

The Sparks currently stand in tenth place in the league standings. LA is currently dealing with a long list of injuries, including Nneka Ogwumike (left knee), Chiney Ogwumike (right knee), Kristi Toliver (eye), Jasmine Walker for the season (right knee), and as well as Maria Vadeeva overseas. This is certainly affecting the consistency and overall team chemistry between the team. There are five games left until the Olympic break and four of those games are against the two best teams in the league. The Sparks need to prioritize finding their rhythm to climb back to at least .500 before the summer break.

LA will play three games this week: versus the Las Vegas Aces (11-4) on Wednesday, June 30 at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT and on Friday, July 2 at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT; and versus the Seattle Storm (12-4) on Sunday, July 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.