As the Los Angeles Sparks look to build on their most recent victory, it's uncertain if injured star Nneka Ogwumike will be available to help.
With or without one of their top performers, the Sparks try to keep the Las Vegas Aces from a third straight victory on Friday night at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Ogwumike is second on the team averaging 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds. She also happens to be a six-time All-Star and the WNBA MVP from 2016. But, during Wednesday's 86-75 win over Indiana, the veteran forward suffered what's being reported as a minor hamstring injury.
It's uncertain if Ogwumike will be able to play Friday, but the Sparks (3-2) are not void of high-quality talent. Candace Parker (13.6 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game) had 18 points with 11 boards, and Chelsea Gray (12.0 ppg) scored 16 as Los Angeles used a 10-0 third-quarter run to take complete control of Wednesday's contest.
Regardless of who is on the floor, coach Derek Fisher expects his Sparks to be ready to go and compete from the opening tap - especially during this unique and condensed season inside the "Wubble."
"(The team) needs to look like (they) really care about everything that's happening in the first few minutes," Fisher told the Sparks' official website. "An, (they're) not waiting for some time later in the game to bring the highest energy, the most focus, and the greatest level of discipline."
Los Angeles split its four 2019 games with Las Vegas (3-2), which is apparently back on track after losing two of its first three contests. With star center Liz Cambage not part of this season, the Aces made a rather major statement with Wednesday's 83-77 over reigning WNBA champion Washington.
A'ja Wilson and Danielle Robinson each had 20 points, while Kayla McBride scored 14, Angel McCoughtry added 13 and Erica Hambry finished with 12 and 13 rebounds as Vegas used a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter to prevail. It came on the heels of a 79-70 win over Dallas, and a potential sign that the Aces are starting to feel comfortable with their surroundings and themselves.
"Everybody is getting with their roles," Robinson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We're still figuring each other out. We're only five games in, but we're going to compete, play hard and look for each other."
Wilson (19.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg), McCoughtry (14.4 ppg) and Hambry (13.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg) continue to pace the Aces.