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Sparks shoot for 3-0 start, visit Dream

Sportsnaut
Jul 27, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Team Wilson forward Liz Cambage celebrates after Team Wilson defeated Team Delle Donne in the WNBA All Star Game at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The new-look Los Angeles Sparks will aim for their third straight win to start the WNBA season on Wednesday night when they face the Dream in Atlanta.

In her second game for the Sparks, Australian center Liz Cambage had 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 11 rebounds in their win Sunday in Indianapolis over the Fever.

The 6-foot-9 four-time All-Star is making her presence known right away in Los Angeles, but she hasn’t been able to avoid controversy.

Two of her Australian national team teammates said recently that Cambage incited a brawl with the Nigerian national team ahead of the Tokyo Olympics when she told her opponents to “go back to your third-world country.”

On Sunday, Cambage seemingly responded to the claims, tweeting, “The truth will always come to light, and it ain’t even dawn yet.”

While Cambage brings new sparks to L.A. — on and off the floor — a constant for the team has been the presence of Nneka Ogwumike, who had 13 points, eight boards and three steals against the Fever. Through two games, she’s shooting 54.2 percent from the floor.

And Sparks coach Derek Fisher is high on her sister, Chiney Ogwumike, too.

“Chiney is a better catch-and-shoot perimeter shooting player than most people think,” Fisher told the “Locked On Women’s Basketball” podcast. “It has not been a big part of her game historically, but it is something we want her to explore more, to feel more confident.”

The Dream also have a new look this season. On Saturday, Atlanta notched its first win under rookie head coach Tanisha Wright, beating the Dallas Wings 66-59 on the road. No. 1 overall pick Rhyne Howard led Atlanta with 16 points, four assists and three rebounds.

“I would say Rhyne is just really poised,” the Dream’s Monique Billings told ESPN. “She just looks like a pro from the jump, even in training camp. She looks like she’s been here before.”

Entering her fifth season with the Dream, Billings had 14 rebounds, six points and a block on Saturday.

–Field Level Media