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Fight Breaks Out in WNBA Game With 32 Seconds Left as Forceful “Body Slam” Leads to 2 Ejections

Published 08/07/2023, 6:50 AM EDT

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The intensity and physicality make the WNBA one of the most exciting leagues in the world. But the ball belligerence can also put the players in grave danger. In a recent regular season matchup, the case was similar.

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The Los Angeles Sparks took on the Washington Mystics in a thrilling regular season matchup. Coming off of playing each other just two days prior, both teams knew what was in store for them. As expected, the game came down to the wire, with the scores reading 83-80 with just 32 seconds left. However, things went south just then.

Fight Breaks Out in the WNBA Regular Season Encounter


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The Los Angeles Sparks and the Washington Mystics have not had the best seasons in the WNBA. Placed 9th and 6th in the standings respectively, the teams knew that every game of theirs would play a major role in their contention for a playoff spot. Hence, their matchup was a highly anticipated encounter.

The Mystics had taken their previous encounter just two days prior, winning a hard-fought 79-77 game. Yet again, the two teams brought the game down to the wire in their matchup. With the scores reading 83-80 with 32 seconds remaining, the Mystics knew they had to get a stop. Mystics forward, Brittney Sykes attempted to do so by fouling the driving Layshia Clarendon.


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Clarendon crossed Natasha Cloud to drive into the paint with 32 seconds remaining in the game. This was when Brittney Sykes decided to foul the 32-year-old guard. However, their collision led to a brawl in the game immediately. The referees had to step in to split both the WNBA stars up.

Late Game Altercation Leads to Major Consequences

Brittney Sykes is known for her vicious defensive abilities. However, her attempt to foul Clarendon cost her team more than she would have imagined. Layshia Clarendon and Sykes got into a fight after their collision, but the foul itself was interesting to note.


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While driving to the paint, Clarendon was met by Sykes who jumped in from the baseline. Sykes tried to grab Clarendon, putting her left arm behind her. Clarendon retaliated by grabbing Sykes and pulling her down with her. This angered the 29-year-old forward, who lashed out and was met immediately by a kick from her opponent. The referees had to split the pair up and review the footage before ejecting them both.


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The Sparks were awarded two free throws due to Sykes’ action but obviously, Clarendon was not the shooter. The game eventually ended in a Sparks 91-83 win. Despite bringing the game down to a one-possession game, the Mystics could not overcome the Sparks, due, in part, to the altercation.

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Written by:

Sachit Kaundinya


One take at a time

Sachit is an NBA content writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the NBA for several years and is deeply passionate about the sport and it’s strategic aspects. Combining his passion and desire to stay connected with basketball, Sachit pursued a writing career.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo