Chelsea Gray contributed 15 points and six assists to help the Los Angeles Sparks post an 81-76 victory over the Connecticut Sun on Thursday night at Bradenton, Fla.
Nneka Ogwumike added 14 points and Seimone Augustus had 13 for the Sparks (2-1). Candace Parker registered 10 points and 11 rebounds.
DeWanna Bonner recorded season highs of 34 points and 14 rebounds for Connecticut (0-3). Jasmine Thomas scored 11 points and Alyssa Thomas had 10 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists despite being 2 of 12 from the floor.
Los Angeles connected on 44.4 percent of its shots from the field and knocked down 5 of 16 from 3-point range.
The Sun shot just 35.6 percent from the field and made 5 of 15 from behind the arc. Connecticut held a 45-36 rebounding advantage.
Parker hit a shot with 7:42 remaining to give the Sparks the game's first double-digit lead at 69-59. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt added two free throws 28 seconds later to boost the lead to 12.
The Sun answered with an 8-2 run to move within 73-67 on Bria Holmes' basket with 3:46 left.
Connecticut again trailed by six after Bonner's jumper with 1:36 left but Ogwumike scored on a putback 24 seconds later and Te'a Cooper added a fast-break layup with 31.5 seconds remaining to make it a 10-point margin as the Sparks closed it out.
Connecticut led 51-46 after Bonner drained a 3-pointer with 5:19 remaining in the third quarter.
But Los Angeles outscored the Sun 17-6 the rest of the quarter. Augustus hit a 3-pointer and Parker made two free throws in a quarter-ending spurt as the Sparks took a 63-57 edge.
Los Angeles led 41-36 at the break despite Bonner scoring 17 first-half points for the Sun.
The score was tied at 30 before Riquna Williams buried three 3-pointers over the final 4:05 of the half to help the Sparks hold the five-point cushion.
--Field Level Media