Sparks 80

(8-3, 5-0 home)

    9:30 PM ET, June 18, 2006

    Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SAC 26 12 15 1669
    LA 23 10 18 2980

    Top Performers

    Sacramento: N. Powell 15 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Los Angeles: M. Mabika 27 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Mabika ties WNBA 3-point record in Sparks' win

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Mwadi Mabika's best game of the season came at a perfect time for the Los Angeles Sparks.

    Mabika tied a WNBA record with seven 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 27 points to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to an 80-69 victory over the Sacramento Monarchs on Sunday night.

    "I knew that after playing last night some of our players were going to be tired and I needed to step up my game," Mabika said. "When I make my first two shots I get in rhythm and I'm good the rest of the night and tonight I was able to do that."

    Lisa Leslie had 16 points and seven rebounds and Chamique Holdsclaw added 12 points and seven rebounds for Los Angeles (8-3), which won its fifth straight -- all at home -- and moved a half-game ahead of Houston for first place in the Western Conference.

    Mabika shot 9-for-15 from the field, including 7-for-8 on 3s to help the Sparks snap a four-game losing streak against defending champion Sacramento -- including last season's playoffs.

    "Every time she was on the court [tonight] I told her if you don't shoot it I'm going to take you out," Los Angeles coach Joe Bryant said. "She started letting it go and she was special. Every game certain players fit the puzzle different ways and this game Mwadi had a bigger chunk of the puzzle."

    Nicole Powell had 15 points and six assists, and Kara Lawson scored 14 points for Sacramento (5-5), which outrebounded the Sparks 22-17 but had 14 turnovers.

    "We played a talented team tonight and we made too many mistakes to beat them at their home court," Monarchs coach John Whisenant said. "Mwadi and Leslie got away from us. We can't allow that to happen and expect to beat a team like the Sparks."

    Murriel Page's jumper with 3:37 gave Los Angeles a 68-66 lead and the Sparks then went on a 10-1 run.

    After being limited to 10 points in the second quarter on 4-for-16 shooting from the field, the Sparks opened the third quarter with a 12-4 run behind a pair of 3s from Mabika to take a 47-42 lead with 6:16 left.

    However, the Monarchs fought back to take a 53-51 lead into the final quarter on Kara Lawson's 3 with 1 minute left in the third.

    Powell scored 10 points and the Monarchs used an 8-0 run spanning the first two quarters to take a 38-33 lead at halftime.

    Sparks starting point guard Temeka Johnson suffered a concussion following a collision under the basket and did not return for the second half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Sacramento Los Angeles
    Points 69 80
    FG Made-Attempted 24-61 (.000) 31-56 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-21 (.381) 8-10 (.800)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-20 (.000) 10-11 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-22 5-31
    Assists 23 17
    Turnovers 12 15
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 0 2
    Fast Break Points 9 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 18 (0/0)