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Jul 6, 2024 9:10 pm

Motivated Dearica Hamby, Sparks try to solve Mercury

Dearica Hamby

After snapping an eight-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Sparks will try to win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly a month when they play host to the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday.

Los Angeles (5-15) beat the Las Vegas Aces 98-93 in overtime on Friday, picking up its first victory since June 9 — a win that came two days after an 81-72 triumph over the Dallas Wings.

Dearica Hamby led the Sparks with 28 points, 14 rebounds and four assists in Friday’s victory. She posted her 13th double-double of the season.

Hamby won a championship with Las Vegas before filing a discrimination lawsuit against the franchise, claiming she was mistreated by Aces coach Becky Hammon after disclosing her pregnancy.

After Hamby was traded to the Sparks, Hammon served a two-game suspension, and the Aces lost their 2025 first-round draft pick because of a violation of league rules that had to do with player benefits.

But Hamby is enjoying her time in Los Angeles.

“My teammates show up for me every time we play the Aces, and it means a lot to me,” Hamby said. “They know how much this game means to me.”

Aari McDonald added a career-high 23 points against Las Vegas. She also had five rebounds and three assists.

The Mercury (10-10) lost three of four games before downing Dallas 104-96 on Wednesday night.

Kahleah Copper scored 34 points and Brittney Griner added 24 to go along with eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Phoenix nearly blew an 18-point, third-quarter lead. The Wings did not score again after pulling within 99-96 with 1:54 left in regulation. Copper’s 3-pointer with 23.4 seconds to play helped the Mercury seal the victory.

It was Copper’s sixth game of the season with 30 points or more.

“I was having fun. I was aggressive. I was playing defense,” Copper said. “It is easier to play off of our defense.”

The Mercury and Sparks have already met twice this year, with Phoenix taking both games. The finale of the four-game season series between the teams is set for Sept. 17.

–Field Level Media

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