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Sparks vs. Sun Tuesday WNBA odds: Lean on under total with Nneka Ogwumike in question

The Los Angeles Sparks can take a big step toward clinching a WNBA playoff spot as they start a season-ending three-game road trip Tuesday (7 p.m. ET) against the Connecticut Sun. The Sun are 10-point favorites but it’s under the total of 157.5 points where the SBIA Model has the biggest lean and that’s in part due to the uncertain status of Sparks leading scorer Nneka Ogwumike.

Ogwumike, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft who averages team bests of 19.1 points and 8.9 rebounds, missed Sunday’s 72-64 home win over Washington that snapped LA’s three-game skid and also got it into the eighth and final playoff spot. The top eight teams make the playoffs, and so far five spots have been claimed. Ogwumike was a late scratch with a knee injury and is questionable for tonight.

Nneka Ogwumike is in question for the Sparks tonight.

On Sunday, Los Angeles (16-21) did get back guard Layshia Clarendon, who had been out the previous two games because of health and safety protocols, and she led the #TimeToShow with 15 points in the team’s final regular-season home game.

"It was a big win to finish out the home schedule of the regular season," Sparks coach Curt Miller said. "When a star player is scratched as late as Nneka was scratched, I've watched teams not be mentally ready to handle the situation. And they just didn't miss a beat. All the adversity we've been through this year has prepared us for the fact that you have to pivot when someone goes down."

Connecticut (25-12) has clinched a playoff spot and sits third in the standings. The Sun come off an 89-58 blowout loss at New York on Friday in their final road game of the regular season. Natisha Hiedeman and Ty Harris each led the Sun with 18 points. Alyssa Thomas notched her league-leading 26th double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

The Sun are now 4-0 when Hiedeman hits at least three three-pointers in a game. Connecticut will be the WNBA’s No. 3 playoff seed no matter how its three remaining games go. Sun reserve center Bernadett Hatar is doubtful for Tuesday's matchup a due to a left knee injury. Hatar played 14 minutes Friday versus New York and posted season highs in rebounds (four) and steals (four).

#ForgedByFire goes for the three-game series sweep as it won 83-74 in Los Angeles on June 18 and routed the visiting Sparks 83-68 in Uncasville on Aug. 27. Ogwumike played in both and averaged 15.0 points and 9.5 rebounds. The under is 6-1 in the past seven meetings at Connecticut.

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