San Antonio nearly garnered its first win of the season Thursday night, but the Stars’ comeback bid came up just short as the Los Angeles Sparks held off for a 80-75 victory at the STAPLES Center.
Second-year point guard Moriah Jefferson led all scorers with 24 points on 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range, while center Isabelle Harrison scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Kayla McBride did not have her usual pure shooting touch Thursday, but contributed in other facets with seven points, seven rebounds and a game-high five assists.
After heading into the locker room at halftime facing a 46-26 deficit, the Stars outscored the Sparks in the third and fourth quarters — including a 20-4 run to start the second half — and trailed by only three points, 70-67, at the two-minute mark in the final period. The Sparks made 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch, however, to hold off the Stars’ run.
The Stars held the Sparks to only 12 points in the third quarter, tying the least amount of points scored by an opponent in a quarter this season.
Jefferson was the main catalyst for San Antonio, especially late in the fourth quarter when she made two three-pointers and two free throws in the final 20 seconds to keep the Stars in the game.
The Stars outrebounded the Sparks 31 to 28 while each team dished out 16 assists. As a team, the Stars made 10-of-11 free throw attempts.
For the Sparks, Candace Parker scored 20 points, Chelsea Gray scored 19, and center Nneka Ogwumike nearly recorded a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds.
The Stars continue their road trip Sunday, June 18, against the Seattle Storm with opening tip scheduled for 6 p.m. The two teams met earlier this month at the AT&T Center with the Storm winning 85-76.