Comets 62


Sparks 74

(14-5, 10-2 home)

    10:30 PM ET, July 5, 2006

    Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    HOU 13 12 24 1362
    LA 26 14 17 1774

    Top Performers

    Houston: S. Swoopes 9 Pts, 10 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Los Angeles: L. Leslie 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 7 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Holdsclaw, Leslie Spark Los Angeles past Houston 

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Chamique Holdsclaw scored 19 points, Lisa Leslie added 18, and the Los Angeles Sparks held off the Houston Comets 74-62 Wednesday night.

    Temeka Johnson had 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Sparks (14-5), who moved two games ahead of second-place Houston in the Western Conference with their 11th victory in 13 games.

    Tina Thompson led the Comets (12-7) with 13 points, Dawn Staley added 11 and Sheryl Swoopes had a season-high 10 rebounds, nine points and six assists.

    "This game was perfect for us," said Sparks coach Joe Bryant, whose team lost 85-63 to San Antonio Monday night. "Against San Antonio, we kind of overprepared. It's like you study for three or four days for the test, and then you get brain lock. Tonight, we got very aggressive and tried to take (the Comets) out of their plays."

    Los Angeles made seven of its first eight shots to take a 15-0 lead in the first 3:55. Leslie led the spree with six points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal.

    "When the Sparks see the Comets coming, they bring their 'A' game, 100 percent," Comets coach Van Chancellor said. "We dropped way too far behind to be able to play."

    Houston committed four turnovers in the first three minutes, failed to score in the first 4:15 and grabbed just one rebound in the first five minutes.

    "We played bad the last few games and we just wanted to play better defense more than anything else," Leslie said. "We kept them out of the middle and we did a much better job defensively, which really helped us with our offense."

    The Comets used a 15-4 surge to narrow the deficit to 47-40 with 4:54 left in the third quarter, then drew within 57-53 on Sancho Lyttle's inside jumper with 8:34 to play.

    But Johnson and Holdsclaw each scored four points during an 11-2 run that extended the Sparks' lead to 68-55 with 3:21 remaining.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Houston Los Angeles
    Points 62 74
    FG Made-Attempted 19-57 (.000) 28-62 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-16 (.375) 3-10 (.300)
    FT Made-Attempted 18-26 (.000) 15-17 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-25 5-33
    Assists 16 24
    Turnovers 16 10
    Steals 8 12
    Blocks 4 2
    Fast Break Points 6 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 27 (0/0)