Indiana Fever vs. Los Angeles Sparks: WNBA game prediction, TV channel, live stream, watch online via CBS Sports Network

There are just two games on the WNBA schedule on Thursday night, and the action will conclude on the West Coast when the Indiana Fever take on the Los Angeles Sparks. 

Indiana enters the game on a bit of downswing, having lost their last two games, and three of their last four to fall to 9-18 on the season. They've cooled off after a hot start out of the All-Star break, and look likely to finish a few games out of playoff position. 

As for the Sparks, they picked up a win over the Lynx on Tuesday night to snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 16-10 on the season. They sit in fourth place, and as it stands would get a first-round bye, but will have some work to do to hold off the Sky.

How to watch Indiana Fever at Los Angeles Sparks

Storylines

Fever: The Fever won three of their first four games out of the All-Star break, and that hot start gave them an outside shot at sneaking into the playoffs. They've lost their last two games, however, and those hopes are fading. They're 3 1/2 games behind the Lynx for the eighth and final playoff spot. It's not really a surprise considering their youth, and how the first half of the season went. In fact, at this point, it's probably better for the future of the franchise that they don't make the playoffs and instead secure another top draft pick. 

Sparks: After a rough start to the season, the Sparks started to turn things around in July, and rattled off a five-game winning streak on either side of the All-Star break. They were starting to get healthy, and had climbed towards the top of the standings. But all of that good momentum came to a halt last week when they lost to the Wings and Sky. Now, even with a win over the Lynx on Tuesday, they're 2 1/2 games out of a top-two seed, and will have serious work to do to chase down the Aces, Sun or Mystics. Instead, their main task at the moment will be trying to hold off the Sky, who are right on their tails for a top-four seed, and first-round bye. 

Prediction

As competitive as they've been this season, the Fever don't have the talent or experience to deal with the best teams in the league. Of their nine wins, only one of them has come against a team with a winning record. The Sparks are at home, and chasing a top-two seed; they'll take care of business. 

Pick: Sparks 87, Fever 71

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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