With the WNBA ready to return to action from its boycott, the Los Angeles Sparks look to extend the longest active winning streak in the league when they try for an eighth consecutive victory on Friday night against the Connecticut Sun at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Los Angeles (10-3) was scheduled to play Minnesota and Connecticut (6-8) was slated to meet Phoenix on Wednesday. However, those two contests and one other game were boycotted by players in the wake of the police shooting involving 29-year-old Jacob Blake from Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday, and the unrest and violence that followed in the city.
The WNBA joined the NBA, plus teams from MLS and Major League Baseball in boycotting and postponing games on Wednesday and Thursday.
In a statement, the Sparks organization stated: "We stand with all WNBA and NBA teams in demanding justice for victims of police violence. The Sparks will continue to advocate for change and take action to combat systemic racism and sexism in our society."
On the court, Los Angeles looks to stay hot with an eye on the top spot in the league standings. Los Angeles is coming off an 84-81 win over Dallas on Sunday. Brittney Sykes had 23 points while Candace Parker added 22 with 14 rebounds and six assists as the Sparks used a 20-4 fourth-quarter run to erase a 10-point hole.
Los Angeles, which ranks among the league leaders averaging 86.3 points, looks to complete the two-game sweep of the Sun in 2020. Chelsea Gray had 16 points with six assists and Parker scored 10 with 11 rebounds during an 81-76 win over the Sun on July 30.
Connecticut will try to win two in a row following an 82-65 victory over New York on Saturday. Like the Sparks, and other teams within the WNBA, the Sun made a statement on the week's action within the "wubble."
"It is important for us as basketball players and humans to acknowledge and stand against the continued instances of social injustices that happens on a daily basis in this country," the statement read. "As we reflect on the senseless violence and grieve collectively as mothers, daughters and women, we will continue to advocate for the victimized and unheard."