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Kahleah Copper, Sky eke out key victory over Sparks

Oct 2, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; A game ball waits on a sanitation cart during game 1 of the WNBA finals between the Las Vegas Aces and the Seattle Storm at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Kahleah Copper scored a game-high 22 points, including two baskets in the final minute, and the visiting Chicago Sky defeated the host Los Angeles Sparks 76-75 on Tuesday.

The Sky (15-21) pulled within a half-game of the Sparks (15-20) in the race for the final WNBA playoff spot. Chicago also won the season series 3-1.

Marina Mabrey added 14 points and Morgan Bertsch scored 12 for the Sky, who won for the third time in nine games.

Nneka Ogwumike had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Jordin Canada had 16 points and nine assists and Karlie Samuelson scored 11 to lead Los Angeles, which lost its second consecutive game after a six-game winning streak.

The score was tied at halftime, and Los Angeles led 52-48 before

Copper’s layup started an 13-0 run that gave Chicago a nine-point lead. Dana Evans beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer that gave the Sky a 64-56 edge at the end of the third quarter.

Elizabeth Williams’ basket started the fourth-quarter scoring, but Zio Cooke answered with a 3-pointer and soon added another basket that pulled L.A. within 68-61.

Copper made two jumpers to push the lead to 72-63 with 4:23 remaining.

Ogwumike made consecutive baskets, Samuelson added a 3-pointer and Canada made a basket to pull the Sparks even at 72 with 1:02 left.

Copper’s layup broke the tie with 44.5 seconds remaining, but Samuelson’s 3-pointer put Los Angeles on top with 38.3 seconds left.

Another layup by Copper gave Chicago a one-point lead with 22.8 seconds left, and the Sparks missed three shots on the final possession.

Canada scored five points to help the Sparks grab a 19-14 lead. The Sparks increased the lead to 10 points before Bertsch’s 3-pointer trimmed the lead to 28-21 at the end of the first quarter.

Azura Stevens’ layup pushed Los Angeles’ lead to 10 points before Williams had six points during a 16-6 Sky run that produced a 43-all halftime tie.

–Field Level Media