WNBA Scores

Tuesday, May 31st

Final

Stars 70

(0-5, 0-3 away)

Sparks 81

(3-2, 1-0 home)

    10:30 PM ET, May 31, 2005

    Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 25 45 70
    LA 29 52 81

    Top Performers

    San Antonio: C. Anderson 16 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Los Angeles: L. Leslie 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Leslie scores 22 as Sparks pull away in second half

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Slowly, the Los Angeles Sparks are coming together under new coach Henry Bibby.

    After going 2-2 on a season-opening road trip, the Sparks rallied in the second half for an 81-70 victory over the winless San Antonio Silver Stars on Tuesday night.

    Lisa Leslie scored 22 points, Chamique Holdsclaw added 19, Nikki Teasley had 17, including five 3-pointers, and Tamecka Dixon had 10 points for the Sparks, who are 15-1 at home against the Silver Stars.

    "We got to get used to each other," Leslie said. "When our defense is on, we can still hold a team."

    The Sparks improved to 8-1 in home openers since losing the franchise's inaugural game against the New York Liberty on June 21, 1997.

    "I'm glad to be back at home," Bibby said. "We want to impress the people that come out and see us."

    Los Angeles hardly looked like a team favored to win the WNBA championship in the game's opening minutes. The Sparks fell behind 8-2 and clung to a four-point halftime lead.

    "I wasn't really nervous, but I had a little bit of jitters," Holdsclaw said. "We're just learning. We're trying to get our defense better."

    The Silver Stars have lost all five of their games under first-year coach Dan Hughes.

    Chantelle Anderson led the Silver Stars with 16 points and Marie Ferdinand, one of only three holdovers from last year's team, added 15.

    "We're young and we're trying to get some chemistry established," Hughes said. "Defensively, we've had a hard time."

    Anderson scored the first two baskets of the second half to tie the game at 29. The Silver Stars trailed 34-33 on two free throws by LaToya Thomas.

    Then Leslie ignited a 23-7 run that increased the Sparks' lead to 57-40 with 8:23 remaining. She had four points, Holdsclaw scored nine and Teasley hit two 3-pointers in the spurt.

    "We executed about five plays in a row, like the heavens opened up," Leslie said. "Then we relaxed and defensively, we left some players open."

    The Silver Stars closed within six points with just over a minute to play, but Tamika Whitmore rebounded Leslie's miss and scored inside to keep the Sparks ahead, 73-65.

    Both teams were sloppy, combining for 29 turnovers. After committing 10 miscues in the first half, the Sparks had just one in the second.

    San Antonio's Nikki McCray finished with two points, giving her 2,501 in her eight-year WNBA career.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

      San Antonio Los Angeles
    Points 70 81
    FG Made-Attempted 24-64 (.000) 31-62 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-18 (.278) 5-10 (.500)
    FT Made-Attempted 17-22 (.000) 14-20 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-33 4-28
    Assists 18 20
    Turnovers 18 11
    Steals 4 8
    Blocks 1 3
    Fast Break Points 0 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 22 (1/0)