Ogwumike, Parker lead Sparks back to playoffs



LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nneka Ogwumike is poised to take her stellar rookie season to the big stage. The Los Angeles Sparks forward, who was leading Stanford to the Final Four just a few months ago, will get even more exposure when the Sparks return to the WNBA playoffs starting Thursday.

She teamed with Candace Parker, herself a college phenom at Tennessee, to help the Sparks to a 16-1 home record, tied for best in the league. The rookie and the veteran have blended seamlessly while starting all 33 games during the regular season, capping it with identical double-doubles in the Sparks’ final game before the playoffs. They were both chosen the league’s player of the month for September.

Ogwumike averaged 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists, while Parker averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists.