UNCASVILLE, Conn. — For the first time as a professional basketball player in the United States, Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike can finally say that she got the best of her big sister following a game in which they both shared the floor together.
It was “little sister” who led the Sun with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting as Connecticut defeated Nneka Ogwumike and the Los Angeles Sparks, 102-94, to win its second consecutive game to start the season. Chiney, who missed all of last season in the WNBA after tearing her Achilles while playing overseas in Nov. 2016, finally got the best of Nneka in a game for the first time in six WNBA regular season contests.
Each starter for the Sun scored in double figures as Connecticut began the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run to quickly erase a nine-point deficit. With just under five minutes left in the fourth, Nneka assisted on an Odyssey Sims jumper that gave the Sparks an 86-82 lead, but that would prove to be the last field goal the Sparks would hit in the game as Connecticut also ended the fourth quarter with a surge. Alex Bentley drained a three-pointer to cut Los Angeles’ lead to one, then Jonquel Jones, who tallied 17 points off the bench, scored five consecutive points, including a three from the left wing, to give Connecticut a 90-86 lead with 3:31 remaining.
Nneka scored 19 points for the Sparks while Sims had 20. Chelsea Gray led Los Angeles with 21 points.
The Sparks, who lost their first game of the season after two consecutive victories, continue to be without the services of Candace Parker (back), Jantel Lavender (overseas commitment) and first-round draft pick Maria Vadeeva.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday evening’s game, with all photos taken by our senior photographer, Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 19 pictures in total.