Sting 59


Sparks 71

(10-7, 7-3 home)

    10:30 PM ET, July 12, 2005

    Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHA 30 29 59
    LA 36 35 71

    Top Performers

    Charlotte: T. Sutton-Brown 15 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Stl

    Los Angeles: L. Leslie 26 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl, 4 Blk

    Mabika drops 11 points in season debut

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Joe Bryant wasted little time getting involved in his first game as Los Angeles Sparks assistant coach.

    Bryant, Kobe Bryant's father, was called for a technical foul in the first half of the Sparks' 71-59 win over the Charlotte Sting on Tuesday night for arguing an official's call.

    "It's an emotional game and I was an emotional player," Bryant said. "It's important that we as coaches stand tall and make a point. I want to let girls know I have their back."

    Lisa Leslie scored a season-high 26 points and tied a season best with 11 rebounds, and Chamique Holdsclaw added 18 points for the Sparks (10-7), who have won four of five and moved within 1½ games of first-place Sacramento in the Western Conference.

    Mwadi Mabika had 11 points and seven assists in her season debut after missing the first 16 games while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

    Bryant, who was hired Monday, and head coach Henry Bibby were teammates in the NBA.

    "It wasn't something I was pursuing. It fell in my lap," Bryant said.

    Bryant, nicknamed "Jellybean," has coached in the ABA, and he had been helping out informally during the Sparks' practices.

    "A couple of times, I was just working out with the team," he said. "Then I had to go away to take care of business.

    "I came back two or three days later and (the players) said, 'Joe, where were you? Jellybean, we missed you."

    Tammy Sutton-Brown had 15 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for the Sting (3-13), who have lost four of five. Jia Perkins scored a career-best 12 points and Tangela Smith added 11 points.

    The Sting used a 9-0 run to move ahead 28-19 with 4:20 left in the first half. But Los Angeles responded with a 17-2 run to take a 36-30 halftime lead.

    Mabika led the surge with seven points, four assists and two steals.

    "I felt good in the beginning," Mabika said. "Then I got tight a little bit at the end of the first half. I came back (to the locker room), got some treatment and felt much, much better in the second half."

    Charlotte narrowed the deficit to 57-53 with 5:28 left, but an 11-2 run extended the Sparks' lead to 68-55 with 2:05 left.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Charlotte Los Angeles
    Points 59 71
    FG Made-Attempted 21-53 (.000) 25-54 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 2-5 (.400) 3-13 (.231)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-18 (.000) 18-25 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-29 9-26
    Assists 15 18
    Turnovers 22 20
    Steals 10 15
    Blocks 1 10
    Fast Break Points 2 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 23 (1/0)