Dream fall to the Sparks in Los Angeles

Aari McDonald scored 18 for the Dream. AJC file photo

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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Aari McDonald scored 18 for the Dream. AJC file photo

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Aari McDonald and Tiffany Hayes each scored 18 points for the Dream but Atlanta lost to the Sparks 85-78 in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon.

Hayes was helped off the court with 2:30 left in the fourth quarter after a collision.

McDonald was 7 of 9 from the field and Rhyne Howard had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Howard made her second basket, in 13 attempts, to pull Atlanta within 78-70, but she missed a 3-pointer on their next possession and Los Angeles pulled away.

The Dream are 12-15.

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Nneka Ogwumike scored 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting and Chiney Ogwumike had a season-high 15 points for the Sparks.

Nneka Ogwumike sank a 3-pointer with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter to give Los Angeles an 83-70 lead. McDonald scored the next six points for the Dream, but Chiney Ogwumike made a key steal with less than a minute to play and Jordin Canada made two free throws at 33.9 for a nine-point lead.

Brittney Sykes and Katie Lou Samuelson each added 12 points for Los Angeles (12-14), which won its second straight to end a seven-game homestand. Nneka Ogwumike passed Tangela Smith for 21st on the WNBA’s career scoring list.

Chennedy Carter went coast-to-coast for a layup to beat the halftime buzzer and extend Los Angeles’ lead to 52-42. It was Carter’s first game since July 1. She played for the Dream in 2020 and 2021. Carter was drafted fourth overall in the 2020 draft by the Dream.