Liz Cambage scored 13 points and had nine rebounds for Los Angeles but couldn’t prevent the Sparks from going down to the Indiana Fever in the WNBA.
Instead it was Kelsey Mitchell with 22 points who led the Fever to a 101-96 win in Indianapolis on Friday.
Mitchell’s dominant performance gave Carlos Knox a win in his first game as the team’s interim coach.
Rookie NaLyssa Smith and Victoria Vivians added 17 points apiece for Indiana (3-7), which snapped a five-game losing streak in their highest-scoring game of the year.
Emily Engstler came off the bench to score 13 points and grab nine rebounds, and Danielle Robinson chipped in 10 points and 11 assists.
Cambage’s teammate Nneka Oguwmike poured in a game-high 30 points and hauled in 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Sparks (3-6) from losing for the sixth time in seven games.
The Fever came prepared for Cambage and their defence doubled up on the Australian, who made just two of 11 field goals. Cambage fouled out in the final minute.
Los Angeles trailed by 18 at one point in the third quarter, but pulled within 95-93 with 1:22 left on a pullup jumper by Brittney Sykes. However, the Fever were able to close the game out with 6-of-8 foul shooting in the final minute and a pair of key defensive stops.
Indiana players surrounded Knox after time expired, celebrating the result.
Knox, in his second stint with the franchise, was picked to succeed Marianne Stanley after she was fired on Wednesday with the team struggling to find its footing.