Dream fall to 16-18 with loss to Sparks

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The short-handed Dream had a 16-point lead in the first half and took a 64-62 lead into the fourth quarter but lost to the Los Angeles Sparks 83-78 in College Park Friday night.

The Dream played without All-Star guard Allisha Gray for a second straight game due to her ankle injury. The team announced Thursday that forward Nia Coffey would miss the remainder of the season with a hand injury.

Cheyenne Parker led the Dream (16-18) with 22 points. Rhyne Howard had 15 points, Danielle Robinson 12 and Monique Billings had 10 with 10 rebounds.

The Dream missed all five 3s they took in the second half.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for her 100th career double-double for Los Angeles, which recorded its sixth straight win.

Azura Stevens added 18 points, Jordin Canada 15 with nine assists and six steals and Layshia Clarendon 14 points, including the clinching free throws with 11.2 seconds left for the Sparks.

Los Angeles (15-18), which battled injuries all year but started the same lineup for the seventh straight game, pulled into a tie with Washington for the seventh playoff spot 2 1/2 games ahead of Chicago.

Dearica Hamby’s 3-pointer with 6:32 to play put the Sparks up for good at 71-68. Ogwumike had six straight points down the stretch to hold off the Dream, which has lost five of six.

The Dream made all five of their 3-pointers and shot 64% in the first half to open a 52-39 lead at the break. Atlanta turned a two-point lead near the middle of the second quarter into an 16-point lead when Howard drilled a triple 14 seconds before halftime.