Sparks 77

(10-3, 4-3 away)

    10:00 PM ET, June 23, 2006

    1 2 3 4 T
    LA 20 20 18 1977
    SAC 22 9 20 1263

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: M. Mabika 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast

    Sacramento: S. Dorrell 15 Pts, 4 Reb

    Mabika leads Sparks to seventh straight win

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Mwadi Mabika's opponents said she was getting up in age. But against the Sacramento Monarchs, it seemed as if the Congo native is getting better with time.

    Mabika had 24 points to lead the Sparks to a 77-63 victory over the Monarchs on Saturday night, shooting 11-for-19 from the field in 34 minutes.

    Mabika, who has been in WNBA for nine years, turns 30 on July 27.

    "I'm not even worried about age," Mabika said. "In sports, you are in your prime around age 29, 30 or 31."

    Chamique Holdsclaw had 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench, and Donneka Hodges-Lewis added 10 points and six assists for the Sparks (10-3).

    Rookie Scholanda Dorrell had 15 points, and Yolanda Griffith scored 14 for the Monarchs (6-6), who failed to win their 100th game at Arco Arena.

    The Sparks claimed the victory mostly by scoring on second-chance shots.

    "They shot almost 50 percent because they got 44 percent of their misses back," said Sacramento coach John Whisenant. "That's 22 points with that stat alone."

    The Sparks were 47.1 percent (33-for-70) from the floor while the Monarchs shot a paltry 35.7 (20-56).

    And the Sparks' defense also forced 18 turnovers and had 10 steals, three by reserve forward Christi Thomas.

    "We are playing good basketball now," said Los Angeles coach Joe Bryant. "Defensively, we've been talking, communicating and not making the same mistake two or three times. That's why we are playing well now."

    The Monarchs led 20-13 with 1:38 left in the first quarter before Hodges-Lewis' shot at the buzzer left the Sparks trailing 22-20.

    In the second quarter, the Sparks opened up with a 13-0 run to take a 33-22 lead. The Monarchs didn't score a basket until Dorrell hit a driving lay up with 4:35 left. The Sparks led 40-31 at the half.

    In the third quarter, the Monarchs came back to cut the Sparks' lead 47-52 on a layup by DeMaya Walker. The third period ended with a 58-51 Sparks lead.

    In the fourth quarter, Mabika and the turnovers became too much for Monarchs.

    Mabika scored nine easy points in the period, and Holdsclaw's free throws gave the Sparks their biggest lead in the game (77-59) with 2:11 left to play.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Los Angeles Sacramento
    Points 77 63
    FG Made-Attempted 33-70 (.000) 20-56 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-13 (.385) 6-19 (.316)
    FT Made-Attempted 6-8 (.000) 17-22 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-37 12-30
    Assists 16 12
    Turnovers 15 18
    Steals 10 4
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 8 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 12 (0/0)