Brittney Sykes, the sole Syracuse Orange representative in the WNBA this season, took the court last week for the Los Angeles Sparks (6-11). Sykes, a 2017 SU graduate, re-entered the Sparks starting line-up for the first time since May 21 and tallied 36 points, 17 rebounds, nine assists, and three steals in three games.
On Wednesday, the Sparks fell to the Las Vegas Aces (14-4) at home. Sykes tallied 11 points, six rebounds, a steal, and an assist in the loss.
LA shot 34.1% from the field and 29.2% from three. Four Sparks tallied double-figures, including Amanda Zahui B. (22 points), Te’a Cooper (15), Erica Wheeler (13), and Sykes (11).
Vegas shot 45.7% from the field and 31.8% from three. The Aces had five players in double digits, including former Duke star Chelsea Gray (18 points), former Notre Dame star Jackie Young (17), former Wake Forest star Dearica Hamby (17), A’ja Wilson (17), and Liz Cambage (11).
On Friday, the Sparks fell to the Aces for the second straight game, 66-58. Sykes recorded six points, three assists, and a rebound in the contest
The Sparks shot 35.5% from the field and 28.6% from three. Zahui B (14 points), Cooper (12), and Wheeler (15) scored in double-digits for LA.
Vegas shot 37.7% from the field and 18.2% from three. Three Aces players scored in double figures, including Wilson (20 points), Gray (14), and Cambage (10).
On Sunday, the Sparks suffered their fourth straight loss at home against the Seattle Storm (14-4), 84-74. Sykes had a career day, tallying a season-high 19 points and a season-high 10 rebounds. It was her first double-double of the season. She also added five assists and two steals.
The Sparks shot 38.5% from the field and 38.9% from three. Three LA players scored in double figures, including Sykes (19 points), Wheeler (19), and Nia Coffey (11).
The Storm shot 46.9% from the field and 40% from three. Four Seattle players scored in double-digits, including Syracuse native Breanna Stewart (21 points), Ezi Magbegor (20), Epiphanny Prince (18), and Sue Bird (13).
The Sparks currently stand in 11th place of the league standings and are on a four-game losing streak. On paper, it looks negative. But, three of those losses were against the top two teams in the WNBA. They have two games left until the month-long break in schedule for the Tokyo Olympics, so Coach Derek Fisher will soon have a lengthy amount of time to regroup his roster. Sykes looked more consistent and energetic in the starting line-up, so I hope they keep her there.
The Sparks have two games left before the Olympic break: at the Storm on Wednesday, July 7 at 10:00 p.m. ET and versus the Minnesota Lynx (9-7) on Sunday, July 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET. The league will resume play after the Olympics on August 15.