Brink Helps Sparks Edge Mystics for First Victory of WNBA Season

Brink Helps Sparks Edge Mystics for First Victory of WNBA Season

Los Angeles Sparks rookies Cameron Brink (L) and Rickea Jackson throw the ceremonial first pitches before a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles on May 20, 2024. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

Field Level Media
Field Level Media


Updated: 5/23/2024


LONG BEACH, Calif.—Lexie Brown scored 20 points and added six assists, and rookie Cameron Brink blocked her fourth shot of the night in the game’s final second as the Los Angeles Sparks notched a 70–68 triumph over the Washington Mystics on Tuesday night, May 21.
Dearica Hamby added 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Sparks, who gained their first victory after having opened the WNBA season with two defeats. Kia Nurse had 13 points for Los Angeles.
The Sparks will host the Indiana Fever and prize rookie Caitlin Clark on Friday night at Arena in Los Angeles. Brink, a former star at Stanford, was the No. 2 overall selection, behind Clark, in this year’s WNBA draft. The Sparks also had the fourth overall pick, which they used to land former Tennessee star Rickea Jackson.
Brink has 11 blocked shots through her first three WNBA games, tying Elena Baranova (1997) and Margo Dydek (1998) for the third-most all-time. LaToya Sanders had 13 blocked shots in her first three games in 2008, and Sylvia Fowles had 12 that same season.
Julie Vanloo had 12 points and nine assists, and Shakira Austin added 12 points and eight rebounds for Washington (0–4). Aaliyah Edwards added 10 points off the bench for the Mystics.
Washington trailed by two and had the ball in the final seconds when Austin received the ball in the post. She fumbled the ball, retrieved it, and Brink blocked Austin’s shot attempt, with the ball landing out of bounds with 0.3 seconds left.
The Mystics inbounded the ball but were unable to get off a shot off before the clock expired. Washington also failed to take advantage of an earlier chance to take the lead when the Los Angeles defense forced a shot-clock violation with 16.7 seconds left.
After that twist, Brown made two free throws with 14.7 seconds left to give the Sparks a 69–66 lead before Ariel Atkins drove for a hoop for Washington with 10.9 seconds remaining. Nurse split two free throws to give the Sparks the two-point edge with 7.6 seconds left.
Nurse opened the final quarter with a 3-pointer 56 seconds into the frame to give Los Angeles a 58–55 lead and start a 10–1 spurt. Nurse hit another basket in the run to help build the advantage to 65–56 with 5:48 to play.
Washington countered with two free throws by Atkins and six straight points from Edwards to pull within 65–64 with 2:06 remaining. Hamby hit a baseline jumper for the Sparks with 1:42 left before Austin made a turnaround jumper 18 seconds later to bring the Mystics again to within one.
But after a turnover and the late shot-clock violation, Washington was unable to completely close the gap.
Washington made 42.2 percent of its shots, including eight of 25 from 3-point range. The Mystics committed 19 turnovers. The Sparks hit 47.3 percent of their attempts and were eight of 21 from behind the arc. Los Angeles, however, committed 28 turnovers, leading to 26 Washington points.
The Mystics led 36–32 at halftime, despite Brown scoring 15 first-half points for the Sparks. Stefanie Dolson drained a 3-pointer with 31.3 seconds left in the third quarter to pull Washington into a 55–55 tie entering the fourth.
Brittney Sykes (ankle) missed her second consecutive game for the Mystics.
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