LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Sparks finished a WNBA-best 25-9 in 2004, due in large part to a 15-2 mark at Staples Center.
After opening the season with a 2-2 road trip, the Sparks look to continue that dominance at their home arena when they make their 2005 debut there tonight against the winless San Antonio Silver Stars.Chamique Holdsclaw recorded her fourth consecutive double-double, finishing with 26 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the Sparks fell 84-75 at Charlotte on Saturday. Two days earlier, Holdsclaw scored 27 points to surpass 3,000 in her WNBA career in an 84-75 win over her former team, the Washington Mystics.Lisa Leslie added 16 points and nine rebounds and Tamika Whitmore had 14 points Saturday, but Los Angeles allowed the Sting to shoot a season-best 52 percent from the field and hit 8-for-14 from 3-point range."I think we learned a lot about the team on this road trip,'' said Holdsclaw, acquired in a trade with Washington in March. "We're still getting used to each other, everybody knows what we need to do to improve.'' The Sparks play 12 of their next 15 games at Staples, where they are 30-4 over the last two seasons.The Silver Stars, meanwhile, haven't been as successful, and extended the worst start in franchise history with a
79-51 loss to the Seattle Storm on Sunday. San Antonio shot just 38 percent (22-for-58) and had 20 turnovers. Wendy Palmer-Daniel scored nine points while team leading scorer Marie Ferdinand, who averaged 17.7 points in the first three games, went 3-for-11 from the field and finished with six points.After a jumper by LaToya Thomas tied the game at 15 with 12 minutes left in first half, Seattle went on a 15-0 run and San Antonio went 9 minutes without a field goal as the Storm built a 36-25 lead at the break."I give credit to Seattle,'' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. "I thought they played very well, and I give credit to [Lauren] Jackson. She really competed and was physical down low on the block. That's the reason why this Seattle team was successful the past two years.''San Antonio has lost 16 of 19 road contests since the start of last season.Los Angeles swept all four meetings last season.