BRADENTON, Fla. - Candace Parker scored 24 points with 15 rebounds and Chelsea Gray added 20 with seven assists to help Los Angeles beat Chicago 86-80 on Sunday night.
The Sparks (14-5) are a half-game behind Las Vegas for the second spot in the standings. The two teams meet on Saturday.
Chicago jumped out with a 30-point opening stanza and led by eight after one. Los Angeles tightened its defense from there and largely seized control. The Sky (11-9) managed just 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Parker and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, and a tip-in by Gray constituted an 8-0 run for a 69-65 lead late in the third quarter and Los Angeles led the rest of the way.
Brittney Sykes scored 11 for the Sparks before getting hurt in the third quarter. She didn’t return. Sydney Wiese injured her ankle in the first quarter and also didn’t return. The Sparks did welcome back Nneka Ogwumike after having missed the three games prior due to back issues. She scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds in 29 minutes.
Cheyenne Parker led Chicago with 24 points and 10 rebounds, Allie Quigley scored 22, Kahleah Copper 14 and Courtney Vandersloot distributed 15 assists against just two turnovers.