Sparks beat Mercury 94-71 as Brittney Griner scores 18 in return to WNBA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nneka Ogwumike scored 17 factors, rookie Zia Cooke added 14 and the Los Angeles Sparks defeated Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury 94-71 on Friday evening in Griner’s first WNBA recreation since being jailed in Russia.

Griner had 18 factors, six rebounds and 4 blocked photographs in 25 minutes. She has been free since December when she was a part of a high-profile prisoner swap after spending months in a Russian jail.

Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February 2022 after Russian authorities mentioned a search of her baggage revealed vape cartridges containing hashish oil.

Cooke shot 5 of 6 from the ground and made each her 3-pointers in her league debut in entrance of Daybreak Staley, her former school coach. Cooke was taken tenth total by the Sparks within the draft after starring at South Carolina.

Chiney Ogwumike added 15 factors for the Sparks, who had 5 gamers in double figures.

Amongst these in attendance have been Magic Johnson, Pau Gasol, Byron Scott, Robert Horry, Billie Jean King and Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham. Vice President Kamala Harris visited each groups of their locker rooms earlier than the sport.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins every scored 14 factors and Washington beat new-look New York to offer longtime assistant Eric Thibault a win in his teaching debut.

Elena Delle Donne added 13 factors and Kristi Toliver scored 10 in her return to Washington after spending two seasons in Los Angeles.

New York, which was labeled an excellent workforce throughout the offseason, shot simply 34% from the sphere and turned it over 20 instances within the season opener for each groups.

Sabrina Ionescu led New York with 18 factors. Breanna Stewart had 12 factors and 12 rebounds regardless of choosing up her fourth foul with 3:42 left within the third quarter.

New York has excessive expectations this season after including former MVPs Jonquel Jones by a commerce and Stewart as a free agent. The Liberty additionally signed All-Star level guard Courtney Vandersloot.

Jones scored 5 factors in 19 minutes and Vandersloot had eight factors and 6 assists.

SUN 70, FEVER 61

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — DeWanna Bonner scored 19 factors, Alyssa Thomas had 18 factors, 12 rebounds and 6 assists, and Connecticut held off No. 1 decide Aliyah Boston and Indiana to start the WNBA season.

Former Indiana coach Stephanie White obtained the win in her Connecticut debut after changing Curt Miller, who took the Solar to the WNBA Finals final season.

Connecticut led by 15 factors after three quarters however Indiana scored the opening 10 factors of the fourth to chop its deficit to 58-53. The Solar ultimately scored with 3:06 left on Bonner’s fast-break layup.

Kelsey Mitchell scored 15 of Indiana’s 28 first-half factors and completed with 20 factors. Boston added 15 factors and 9 rebounds.

Brionna Jones added 13 factors and 9 rebounds for Connecticut regardless of fouling out with 4:06 left within the fourth. Starters Tiffany Hayes and Natisha Hiedeman mixed to shoot simply 3 of 19.

SKY 77, LYNX 66

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kahleah Copper had 20 factors, seven rebounds and 5 assists, Alanna Smith scored 15 factors and Chicago used an enormous second quarter to beat the Minnesota in a WNBA opener.

Chicago pulled away within the second quarter after outscoring Minnesota 22-3 for a 44-27 lead on the break. The Lynx shot simply 1 for 15 from the ground within the interval and turned it over 11 instances, resulting in 13 Chicago factors.

Chicago held a double-digit lead for the primary 18 minutes of the second half till Kayla McBride made it 75-66 with 1:03 left within the fourth. Smith answered with two free throws to assist seal it.

Elizabeth Williams added 14 factors and Rebekah Gardner had 10 for Chicago. The Sky scored 17 factors off 20 Minnesota turnovers.

Napheesa Collier, who missed most of final season whereas on maternity go away, led Minnesota with 17 factors and McBride added 12. Diamond Miller, the No. 2 pick of Maryland, had 9 factors and 7 rebounds in 23 minutes.


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