In her final Southern California appearance Tina Thompson made sure she would not be forgotten in her hometown of Los Angeles. Her 23 points and eight rebounds led the Seattle Storm in victory over the Los Angeles Sparks 73-66.
Candace Parker finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the loss for the Sparks. The Sparks (12-6) have lost two straight at home, since their 19 game winning streak was snapped by their Western Conference division rival Phoenix Mercury.
The Storm (7-10) came out aggressive in the opening quarter behind Thompson who opened with three 3 pointers along with Camille Little’s 11 points lead Seattle to a 41-27 halftime lead. The Storm played lock down defense against the Sparks who had no answer for Thompson all afternoon.
“We just played like we knew we were going to come back like we did in Seattle, and they came mad that we took it from them in Seattle. There’s not much difference between this game and the last game,” said Parker.
The Sparks came out in the third quarter with some impressive vigor with a 19-6 run that was led by Jenna O’Hea who launched a huge three pointer. That brought the Sparks within one point, down 47-46 to Seattle.
Seattle refocused and finished the third quarter with eight straight points.
Thompson tapped into her Houston Comet days when scored religiously and out rebounded many of the Sparks players in the paint.
This game proved to be too much Tina Thompson and not enough Spark focus and offense.
Thompson spoke about her final LA appearance, “this is my hometown. This is where I grew up. All my family and friends are here. … I appreciated that and having the opportunity and Penny Toler giving me the opportunity to come home and play here. It means a lot. It was a key part of my career.”
Thompson makes her ninth All-Star appearance for the injured rookie Brittney Griner. Thompson played her college ball at USC and played for the Sparks from 2009-2011.
However Parker and the Sparks must regroup and get ready for a difficult second half of the season on the road.
“We have to figure out, through this break, I hope, that we’re not always going to be able hit those shots and teams are going to make adjustments on us and we have to do the same,” said Parker.
The Sparks shot a terrible 31 percent from the field, which is a season low.
Kristi Toliver was the only other Sparks player that scored in double figures and finished with a quiet 13 points.