Sparks 79

(8-17, 3-11 away)

Liberty 88

(13-11, 7-4 home)

    7:30 PM ET, July 30, 2010

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    LA 15 28 20 1679
    NY 17 28 17 2688

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: T. Thompson 18 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    New York: C. Pondexter 20 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Blk

    Sparks-Liberty Preview


    Production from unlikely sources has the surging New York Liberty looking to climb the Eastern Conference standings. The Los Angeles Sparks are gaining confidence without their star.

    The Liberty attempt to continue their success against the Sparks when they conclude their season series Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

    New York (12-11) has won five of seven after opening July with consecutive defeats. The Liberty are fifth in the East and one game behind Connecticut for the fourth and final playoff position.

    "Right now we are trying to get to climb up to fourth, hopefully third and you never know, maybe we get to second," said guard Cappie Pondexter, fourth in the WNBA with an average of 20.8 points and among the leaders with 5.0 assists per game. "We are going to keep fighting. We've shown a lot of resilience. We play hard, we work hard and we just hope that it pays off."

    Pondexter got considerable help in Tuesday's 77-72 win over San Antonio. The Liberty's bench outscored the Silver Stars' 41-10 behind a season-high 17 points from rookie guard Kalana Greene and 16 from center Plenette Pierson.

    "It's awesome when we play great basketball, great team basketball," said Pondexter, who shot 4 for 12 from the field for 13 points after averaging 26.5 over the previous four games. "It feels good not having to force everything or take all the shots."

    Leilani Mitchell is also giving New York an added offensive dimension, making 17 of 28 3-pointers and averaging 12.6 points over the last five games. The guard is shooting 45.9 percent from beyond the arc and scoring a career-high 8.2 points per game.

    "Lei is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league," Pondexter said. "Teams are starting to realize that you can't leave her open. She's deadly."

    The Liberty have won eight of 11 meetings with the Sparks (8-16), including an 80-68 victory on June 29 in Los Angeles.

    The Sparks have won three of four after going 2-8 since losing star forward Candace Parker to a season-ending shoulder injury last month.

    Los Angeles continued its surge Tuesday by limiting Minnesota to 26.0 percent shooting from the field in a 71-58 win.

    "We're a good team and sometimes when you can't put a string of wins together, your confidence can go down and you can start looking at each other," said guard Noelle Quinn, who has 31 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists to spur consecutive wins for the Sparks.

    Quinn scored 24 points in the last meeting with New York, while forward Tina Thompson had six.

    Thompson is averaging 18.7 points in seven games after scoring 24 Tuesday.