LOS ANGELES — The Sparks still control their own playoff destiny with 11 games left in the regular season.
At 10-14, the Sparks are currently in the eighth and final playoff spot.
However, only two games separate the league’s sixth-place team from the league’s 11th-place team, with less than a month to go before the playoffs begin on August 17.
This could ultimately be a pivotal period for the Sparks as they host the Indiana Fever (5-22) at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena.
The Sparks hope to break a three-game losing streak and pick up a crucial win against the league’s worst team.
However, the Fever leads the season series against the Sparks 1-0, courtesy of an early season 101-96 win in Indianapolis on May 27.
The last time the two teams played, Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike had 30 points and 10 rebounds and could be called upon for another big effort, especially without 6-foot-9 center Liz Cambage (13.3 points per game), who is listed as questionable and could miss her second consecutive contest due to being placed in health and safety protocols on July 14.
Ogwumike is averaging 18.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
The Fever, who are on a nine-game losing streak, have been led this season by guard Kelsey Mitchell, who is the sixth leading scorer in the WNBA, averaging 18.6 points per game.
In the Sparks’ last game, interim head coach Fred Williams cited “crucial turnovers” in their 80-68 loss to the Chicago Sky last week.
Williams wants his team to clean up unforced turnovers and put a premium on sharing the ball, which was emphasized in the last two practices.
“A lot of those (turnovers) are eye contact with each other and coming to the ball,” Williams continued. “Just the little bitty things there and with certain injuries and certain players right now, we’re kind of off rhythm, so we’re trying to find our rhythm on the offensive end.”
Statistically, the Sparks will strive to have more than 20 assists, which Williams believes is a key metric that will put his team in the best position to have a chance to win.
The Sparks are averaging 72.6 points per game during the team’s three-game losing streak, in which key players; Chiney Ogwumike, Nneka Ogwumike and Cambage have all missed a game due to various injuries and illnesses.
However, Williams said he’s encouraged by the fact that the Sparks took more shots than the Sky but said his team needs to capitalize on those opportunities.
“I’m still pleased that we got a lot of shots but we’ve got to make them,” Williams shared. “We got 71 attempts (against Chicago) but we made 28. That’s tough.”
Sparks guards Kristi Toliver (calf) and Chennedy Carter (knee) have been ruled out for Tuesday’s game. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and Spectrum Sportsnet.