The Los Angeles Sparks' quest for a sixth straight win might have gotten a little easier.
Aiming to extend their longest unbeaten swing of the season, the visiting Sparks face a Dallas Wings club that will be short-handed Wednesday night.
Los Angeles (15-8) overcame a 16-point first-half deficit to stay hot with an 84-81 home win over Chicago on Sunday. Chelsea Gray had 26 points and Nneka Ogwumike added 17 with 12 rebounds as the Sparks continued their most successful stretch of basketball in 2019.
"The second half of the season is starting to trend in the right direction," coach Derek Fisher, whose club started 4-6 while playing a good chunk of time without star Candace Parker, said via the Sparks' official Facebook page. "We're stronger as a group."
The Sparks, who seem to be as close to full-strength than at any other time in the season, last won six in a row in 2017, but they might be in a solid position to do it again. With a combined 37 points from Ogwumike, Los Angeles split the first two meetings of the season with Dallas (7-17), which won't be at full strength for this rubber game.
While the Wings finally managed to win a road game Saturday, 80-77 at Phoenix, Kayla Thornton, newcomer Kristine Anigwe and Kaela Davis were all ejected for taking part in an altercation that also saw Mercury star Brittney Griner tossed from the game.
Thornton, the team's second-leading scorer with 10.8 points per game, and Anigwe, who has played just two games with Dallas since coming over in a trade with Connecticut and was initially part of the scuffle with Griner, were each suspended two games for their roles in the incident.
Davis, who picked up a one-game ban, reportedly will sit out Sunday against Connecticut, while Thornton and Anigwe are slated to begin their suspensions Wednesday. Thornton scored 17 points in a 74-62 win over Los Angeles on July 9.
"When someone's not here for whatever reason, then you give someone else an opportunity," Dallas coach Brian Agler told The Dallas Morning News.
Arike Ogunbowale has been the Wings' rock no matter who has been on the floor this season. She's averaged 20.3 points over the last four games after scoring 23 against Phoenix. Ogunbowale, though, has totaled just 21 points in the two games versus Los Angeles this season.
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