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Sparks Struggle in Loss to Lynx; Hamby Shines Once Again

photo by Jackie Rae
Dearica Hamby at the line in arena - photo by Jackie Rae

The Los Angeles Sparks' Wednesday night loss to the Minnesota Lynx was rough. Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson started three games on the road, while Layshia Clarendon recovered from a concussion. Fans calling for Jackson to remain a starter got their wish as the rookies started again despite Claredon's return.

Dallas quickly took control of the game and went on an 11-0 run in the first quarter. Brink and Jackson finished the game with just two points each.

Dearica Hamby was the lone bright spot, scoring 17 points. The Sparks shot a dismal 26% from the field and 14% from three. "It's embarrassing," Hamby said post-game.

Visibly frustrated, Sparks head coach Curt Miller emphasized that the team is in a rebuilding phase. "This is a really young team with a lot of new pieces that are—at times—overwhelmed by this physicality," Miller said. He pointed out that opponents can see how quickly the Sparks become frustrated by physical play and stressed the need for mental toughness.

"The nuances of it are funny," he noted. "We're running very similar plays, but when you watch them run it and then watch us run the exact same plays, it just looks different."

The Sparks need to elevate their game if they hope to finish higher than the preseason prediction of 10th place. They face the 3-5 Dallas Wings on Friday and the 5-2 Las Vegas Aces on Sunday.

A win against these teams will be an uphill battle requiring all hands on deck, but it would certainly boost morale.

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