Best of the West: Sparks rip Monarchs, snap skid

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lisa Leslie had 18 points, 10 rebounds and
three assists and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Sacramento
Monarchs 69-58 Wednesday to end a three-game losing streak.

Mwadi Mabika added 16 points for the Sparks (24-9), who had
already clinched the Western Conference regular-season title.
Chamique Holdsclaw, who missed the last two games with a foot
injury, scored nine points.

"Just for our confidence, we need to get things going again,"
Los Angeles coach Joe Bryant said. "If we can go into the playoffs
with a few wins and feel good about ourselves, it's really going to
make us better."

Kara Lawson scored a season-high 18 points for the Monarchs
(20-12), whose four-game winning streak ended. DeMya Walker added
12 points.

"If we didn't have Lawson, we would have done worse,"
Sacramento coach John Whisenant said. "Their defense did a good
job getting us out of rhythm. They stopped us inside and that left
Kara with some shots."

The Monarchs started slowly, missing 21 of their first 25 shots,
but trailed 32-31 after Scholanda Dorrell hit two free throws with
8:23 remaining in the third quarter. The Sparks responded with an
11-2 surge.