by Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)
photo credit: FI360 News
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Sparks clinched a playoff berth with a 98-65 rout over the Indiana Fever, while also winning their 10th straight home game. More impressive than nearly scoring 100 points and continuing their dominance at Staples Center was the depth and balance that the Sparks displayed.
Six players scored in double figures led by Nneka Ogwumike who scored a game-high 17 points while grabbing 7 rebounds. Her sister Chiney Ogwumike added 15 points off the bench, which scored 42 points in the win.
“Our bench is everything,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “Our starters are so talented that when we come in, if we could provide another energy boost, that’s what sets us over the edge. The past few games we’ve been committed to showing that our bench can be a cohesive unit.”
Nneka also spoke about the significance of depth and health of this roster heading into the playoffs.
“Health and depth is huge for us,” Nneka Ogwumike said. “This is the first game since the start of the season where we had all 12 players. When we are able to go deep in our bench it’s very beneficial; we’re able to stay very energetic.”
While the Ogwumike sisters are optimistic about the team’s depth, Candace Parker still believes there is much work to be done.
“We still got a long way to go,” Parker said. “We’re still getting better, this is our first night playing with a 12-man roster for the entire season. (We’re) still figuring things out, but to figure things out doing things the way that we did tonight was a lot of fun watching.”
The Sparks are clearly balanced with the luxury of bringing two All-Stars in Chiney Ogwumike and Alana Beard off the bench. That quality depth will make them a very tough out come playoff time.