Fever 51

(12-10, 3-6 away)

Sparks 82

(15-7, 8-1 home)

    10:30 PM ET, July 19, 2004

    Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 25 26 51
    LA 38 44 82

    Top Performers

    Indiana: C. Brown 8 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Los Angeles: L. Leslie 23 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 6 Blk

    Leslie has 23 and 10; L.A. wins 7 of 8

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lisa Leslie led the Los Angeles Sparks to their most one-sided victory in five years.

    Leslie had 23 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in the Sparks' 82-51 victory Monday night over the Indiana Fever.

    Los Angeles came within a point of tying the club record for the largest victory margin. The Sparks defeated the now-defunct Utah Starzz by 32 points in 1999.

    The game was the Sparks' third without starting forward DeLisha Milton-Jones, who will undergo knee surgery Tuesday. Injured July 9, she is expected to miss the Olympics and the rest of the WNBA season.

    "Without her out there, we've definitely got to keep getting the ball inside," said Leslie, 10-for-17 from the floor. "It's forced me to go to that next level sooner than I had planned.

    "Earlier in the season, I was just trying to be patient and really help my teammates to get more involved. The last two games, I'm being more offensive-minded. Sometimes, I have to force it between the double-teams."

    The Sparks (15-7) used their seventh victory in eight games to extend their lead over second-place Seattle in the Western Conference to one game.

    The victory was the first for Los Angeles interim co-coaches Karleen Thompson and Ryan Weisenberg, who replaced Michael Cooper on Saturday night. Cooper resigned to become an assistant with the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

    Mwadi Mabika added 18 points and Christi Thomas had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Sparks, who shot a season-high 53.1 percent.

    Tamika Catchings, the WNBA's fourth-leading scorer, had just nine points for the Fever (12-10). Catchings was 1-for-9 from the floor as Indiana shot 27.6 percent.

    The Fever's lead in the tight Eastern Conference dwindled to a half-game over Charlotte and one game over Connecticut.

    "We laid an egg, so to speak," Indiana coach Brian Winters said. "We didn't play particularly well offensively. We looked a little sluggish in inbounding the ball, different things like that."

    Los Angeles used a 17-2 surge to build a 27-8 lead with nine minutes left in the first half. Mabika scored nine points during the run as the Sparks made 11 of their first 15 shots in the first half.

    Los Angeles made its first six shots in the second half to extend its lead to 54-29. The Sparks led by as many as 33 points late in the game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Indiana Los Angeles
    Points 51 82
    FG Made-Attempted 16-58 (.000) 34-64 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-18 (.167) 4-9 (.444)
    FT Made-Attempted 16-20 (.000) 10-18 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-34 6-35
    Assists 13 26
    Turnovers 16 11
    Steals 9 9
    Blocks 3 8
    Fast Break Points 3 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 20 (0/0)