Sun 70

(7-3, 3-2 away)

Sparks 82

(7-3, 4-0 home)

    10:30 PM ET, June 17, 2006

    Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    CONN 24 14 18 1470
    LA 15 25 18 2482

    Top Performers

    Connecticut: M. Dydek 13 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

    Los Angeles: L. Leslie 32 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Leslie matches career high with 32 points as Sparks torch Sun

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Although Lisa Leslie tied a career high with 32 points, she credited Christi Thomas for helping the Los Angeles Sparks win their fourth straight.

    Leslie scored 32 points and Thomas had 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Sparks beat the Connecticut Sun 82-70 Saturday night.

    "It's huge for Christi," Leslie said after the game, loud enough so Thomas could hear her on the opposite side of the locker room. "Once you do it once, you've got to do it twice, and once you do it twice, you've got to do it again.

    "So the expectations have risen for Christi, and we are expecting that every game. Can you hear me?"

    Thomas, who had a career-high 18 points in a victory over Phoenix on Tuesday night, sat in front of her locker, laughing and nodding her head.

    "A lot of the production from me came off the offensive boards," Thomas said. "I was lucky enough to get into some seams."

    Thomas had seven offensive rebounds on a night the Sparks outrebounded the Sun 41-25, including 22-10 offensive. The Sparks (7-3) are 4-0 at home after an 89-79 overtime loss at New York on June 3 capped a 3-3 road trip to start the season.

    Asjha Jones scored 16 points and Margo Dydek added 13 for Connecticut (7-3), which lost its second game in two nights after winning five straight.

    "We looked kind of tired out there," Dydek said. "They got 20 offensive boards, and that's too much. Thomas had a good game tonight, especially on the boards."

    The Sparks took control for good at the outset of the fourth quarter, scoring six consecutive points in the first 2-plus minutes to take a 64-56 lead.

    The Sun pulled to 66-62 on a free throw by Taj McWilliams-Franklin with 6:47 left. The Sparks scored on their next three possessions, with Thomas hitting 3-pointer to give the Sparks a 73-62 lead with 4:34 left.

    Connecticut never pulled any closer than nine points the rest of the way. Leslie also had seven rebounds and five assists.

    In the first half, the Sparks turned an 11-point first-quarter deficit into a an eight-point lead by the latter minutes of the second quarter. A 16-2 run gave Los Angeles a 40-32 lead, but a 6-0 spurt pulled the Sun to within 40-38 at the break.

    Leslie scored 20 first-half points while also doing a good job defensively on Dydek, the Sun's 7-foot-2 center.

    Connecticut made four of their first five 3-point attempts for an early 14-6 lead. But in the second quarter, the Sparks made 9 of 14 shots (64.3 percent) while the Sun were just 5-for-19 (26.3 percent).

    The Sun made just two field goals in the last 5 minutes of the first half, and then two field goals in the first 5 minutes of the second half as the Sparks began to take control.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Connecticut Los Angeles
    Points 70 82
    FG Made-Attempted 25-67 (.000) 32-70 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-15 (.467) 2-9 (.222)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-16 (.000) 16-25 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-25 20-41
    Assists 15 23
    Turnovers 14 13
    Steals 4 5
    Blocks 7 6
    Fast Break Points 0 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 19 (0/0)