LOS ANGELES — Brittney Sykes’ eyes grew extensive as she fixated on the stat sheet.
“Oh, she had a triple-double,” the Sparks guard mentioned to herself as she checked out Candace Parker’s stat line through the postgame press convention.
“Candace goes to do what Candace does,” Sykes mentioned after she gathered her ideas, and went on to name her former teammate a “human 2K participant.”
Within the Chicago Sky’s 82-59 win, the longtime WNBA All-Star completed with a triple-double of 10 factors, 14 rebounds and 10 assists towards her former staff.
She’s the primary WNBA participant with three profession triple-doubles and it comes on the heels of her 17-point, 10-rebound effort of their comeback win towards the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday. Sheryl Swoopes, Courtney Vandersloot and Sabrina Ionescu are the one different WNBA gamers with two profession triple-doubles.
It was additionally Parker’s first time enjoying in L.A. since signing with Chicago forward of the 2021 season and main them to the WNBA title. She checked out house on Thursday night time at Crypto.com Enviornment – although she mentioned she nonetheless sees it as Staples Heart – slicing by way of the Sparks’ protection with ease.
She – who additionally moved into fifth place in league historical past for blocked pictures (588) and eighth for assists (1,495) – was met with roaring applause throughout participant introductions and followers darted throughout the stands towards the tunnel for a glimpse of her after the sport.
“It was laborious turning left on the second flip as a substitute of the primary one to enter the locker room,” Parker mentioned. “My teammates are asking me the place I usually sit and I used to be like, I’ve by no means been on this aspect of the locker room. I’ve love for the franchise, for the town and what we have been in a position to do on this constructing.”
Parker’s putback basket gave the Jap Convention-leading Sky (12-5) an 11-4 lead within the first quarter, then the Sparks’ Katie Lou Samuelson made a 3-pointer to make it 11-7, the closest the Sparks would get the remainder of the night time.
Ambivalence shrouded the sport as the nice and cozy and fuzzy emotions surrounding Parker’s return contrasted with defensive frustration for the Sparks (6-10).
“(Parker) had the ball nearly all of tonight,” Sykes mentioned. “I’m fairly certain that most likely was a scheme as a result of we give hella stress to guards. So why not let a ahead participant deliver it up?”
Sparks All-Star Nneka Ogwumike, who had a team-high 15 factors on 7-for-17 taking pictures, got here alive within the second quarter and hustled her approach to back-to-back baskets that received the Sparks inside 29-19 early within the interval. A minute later, Parker fought for a rebound and handed to Azura Stevens to maintain the Chicago offense rolling.
By halftime, the Sky had opened a 54-25 lead and had outrebounded the Sparks 29-17.
“We do have glimpses and we do have quarters,” Sykes mentioned of her staff’s protection, “however we’re simply making an attempt to get to a spot the place we get all of it 4 quarters and we don’t have mishaps like we had tonight.”
Allie Quigley dished an help to Parker for an alley-oop with 2:30 left within the third quarter, silencing the group that earlier welcomed her. Jordin Canada made consecutive pictures with 17 seconds left within the quarter, however Parker drove in for a layup with 5 seconds left and Chicago was nonetheless up 24 factors after three quarters.
The Sparks, who outlasted the Sky for a 98-91 season-opening win in Chicago final month, outscored the guests 12-11 within the fourth quarter Thursday as Chicago rested Parker and coasted to a win.
Sykes had 13 factors on 5-for-15 taking pictures, and Samuelson had eight factors. Liz Cambage performed 16 minutes and scored six factors.
Vandersloot and Stevens every scored 15 factors for Chicago. Emma Meesseman added 11 factors and Rebekah Gardner scored 10.
The Sparks now shift their focus to Saturday’s sport towards the Seattle Storm (11-6) as they close to the midway level of the season.
“Kudos to Chicago,” Sykes mentioned. “However we’ve got another probability to play them. They arrive again to our house. Proper now, we simply should put this one on the again burner.”
The Sparks’ Chiney Ogwumike was listed as out for private causes on Thursday, which additionally marked the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of Title IX, the landmark laws for equality that forbids exclusion in sports activities on the premise of intercourse.
She was nonetheless working diligently to showcase girls’s basketball as she helped present TV protection of the NBA Draft.
“It’s enormous for girls’s basketball,” Sparks interim coach Fred Williams mentioned. “When she’s on, the WNBA is on. When she speaks, she’s chatting with the world and thousands and thousands of individuals representing the Sparks, our league. I simply suppose it’s nice to see that.”