Azurá Stevens had 22 points and 12 rebounds, but the Sparks hobbled into the All-Star break as league leaders with a sixth straight loss Las Vegas Aces dominated Wednesday’s Crypto.com Arena 97-78.
All-Star forward A’ja Wilson scored 16 of her 25 points in the first quarter as the Aces (19-2) won their 12th straight game against the Sparks (7-13), who have not since beaten their Western Conference counterparts more defeated in 2019.
Nneka Ogwumike added 20 points with 11 rebounds for the Sparks and Stevens hit a double-digit score for the fifth straight game.
After Wilson fired their first four shots, the Aces took a 12-4 lead and led 54-31 at halftime. The Sparks had 10 unanswered points early in the third quarter, but the Aces extended their lead back to 28 by ending the quarter on a 14-2 run.
Due to injuries and illness, the Sparks have had 11 different starting lineups this season. Nia Clouden (foot), Lexie Brown (illness), Layshia Clarendon (foot) and Chiney Ogwumike (foot) watched Wednesday’s game from the bench. Katie Lou Samuelson, who is expecting her first child next month, sat in the front row behind the team.
“I’ve been doing this for well over 30 years now. I’ve never felt a season with [this many] illnesses and injuries.” said coach Curt Miller at practice on Tuesday.
With the All-Star break looming and an eight-day break before their next game in Minnesota on July 20, the Sparks could welcome reinforcements soon. Brown and Clarendon returned to training on Tuesday.