WITHOUT COACH, SPARKS DEFEATED BIBBY ABSENT FROM HOME LOSS TO SACRAMENTO SACRAMENTO 72, SPARKS 63.Byline: Daily News Staff and Wire Services
Playing without their coach, the Sparks' playoff run hit a big bump in the road Tuesday night in front of 9,205 at Staples Center This article
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* It does not cite any references or sources. . A 72-63 loss to the has multiple issues:Sacramento Monarchs The Sacramento Monarchs is a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Sacramento, California. The team is one of the WNBA's eight original franchises and was noted early on for standout players Ticha Penicheiro, Ruthie Bolton and Yolanda Griffith. dropped them further behind in the postseason chase.
With five games left in the regular season, the Sparks fell 1 1/2 games behind In sports, the phrase games behind, often abbreviated as GB in tables, is a common way to reflect the gap between a leading team and another team in a sports league, conference, or division. Phoenix, which defeated Detroit on Tuesday, for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. Minnesota also won, jumping past the Sparks into fifth place.
The Sparks (13-16) found out before the game they would be without coach Henry Bibby Charles Henry Bibby (born November 24, 1949 in Franklinton, North Carolina) is a former professional basketball player and current assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). . Less than five minutes before tipoff, a team spokesman announced Bibby would not be coaching the team for personal reasons but didn't elaborate. Assistant coach Joe Bryant Joseph Washington "Jellybean" Bryant (born October 19 1954, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American former professional basketball player and the father of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Until April 4, 2007, Bryant was also the coach of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. , the father of Lakers' star Kobe Bryant Kobe Bean Bryant (born July 23 1978, took over for Tuesday's game. ) is an American All-Star shooting guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA) who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
``I learned 30 minutes before the game,'' said Bryant, who became an assistant coach for the Sparks three weeks ago. ``There wasn't much time to think about it.''
Added Sparks' center Lisa Leslie: ``It's difficult to work under these conditions. Everything is just crazy.''
Team officials in a news release said more information would be released today.
Bibby has been rumored to be on the hot seat. He was hired in the offseason after eight-plus seasons as coach of the USC An abbreviation for U.S. Code. men's basketball program, but the Sparks, a preseason favorite to reach the WNBA finals, have underachieved all season.
Rebekkah Brunson scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Monarchs. Mwadi Mabika led the Sparks with 12 points.
After weathering a 20-0 Sparks run in the first half, Sacramento (21-8) overcame an 11-point deficit, using a 16-3 run to take a 37-35 halftime lead. The Monarchs led most of the second half.
Sparks center Lisa Leslie, right, puts up a shot while being pressured by Sacramento's Rebekkah Brunson, left, and Hamchetou Maiga.
David Sprague/Staff Photographer