Basketball

Guard Erica Wheeler breaking ankles as Sparks keep post-season hopes alive

Los Angeles Sparks guard Erica Wheeler landed a shot off a nasty crossover in their 74-68 victory over Atlanta Dream on Thursday night to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Brittney Sykes scores 17 points in 74-68 Los Angeles victory

Los Angeles guard Erica Wheeler, seen above in an earlier game, tripped up Atlanta Dream's Odyssey Sims with a crossover in the Sparks' victory on Thursday night. (Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

Guard Erica Wheeler knocked down a jumper off a nasty crossover in the Los Angeles Sparks' 74-68 victory over Atlanta Dream on Thursday night to keep her team's playoff hopes alive.

Wheeler's crossover sent Odyssey Sims tumbling before she stepped back for the shot. 

The Sparks' Brittney Sykes scored 17 points, while Nneka Ogwumike had 15 points and 10 rebounds. 

Los Angeles (12-19) is in ninth place, a half-game behind the Washington Mystics for the final playoff spot. The Sparks close the regular season Sunday against Dallas. The Mystics play at New York on Friday and host Minnesota on Sunday.

Te'a Cooper added 14 points and Nia Coffey had 10 for Los Angeles.

Tiffany Hayes led Atlanta (8-23) with 25 points for her eighth 20-point game of the season. Courtney Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Sims scored 11 points.

The Dream play WNBA-leading Connecticut on Sunday to close their regular season. Atlanta is 1 1/2 games ahead of last-place Indiana. 

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