WASHINGTON — Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Emma Meesseman scored 20 points apiece and the Washington Mystics beat winless Los Angeles 84-80 on Tuesday night to extend the Sparks' worst start to a season in franchise history.
Ivory Latta added 13 for Washington (5-2), which did not make a field goal in the final 5 minutes of the game but went 11 for 16 from the free throw line. It was a career-high for Ruffin-Pratt.
Los Angeles (0-5) lost its fifth straight game in a season for the fourth time in franchise history. The club record is seven, set in 2007.
Nneka Ogwumike started in her season debut for the Sparks after sitting out the first four games with a sprained ankle. She made her first basket on a layup with 2:19 left in first quarter and finished with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes before fouling out with 1:51 remaining.
Jantel Lavender led Los Angeles with 18 points and nine rebounds. Temeka Johnson had 17 points and 10 assists for her second straight double-double and Farhiya Abdi added 10 before fouling out 4:16 left.
Los Angeles was without two-time league MVP Candace Parker, Kristi Toliver and Alana Beard. Toliver is expected to return soon after the Slovak Republic was eliminated in the EuroBasket tournament.
Washington welcomed back Bria Hartley, who missed the first six games with a stress reaction in her foot. She played six minutes and had six points.