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Leslie scores 17 points, grabs 12 boards as Sparks get by Shock

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lisa Leslie had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to an 80-73 victory over the Detroit Shock on Wednesday night.

DeLisha Milton-Jones and Kiesha Brown, making her first professional start, added 12 points apiece for the Sparks (5-2), who moved within one game of first-place Minnesota in the Western Conference.

"We have to understand that we have to get in there and rebound," Los Angeles coach Michael Cooper said. "After the last home game, where we let a smaller team outrebound us down the stretch, we did a better job against one of the better rebounding teams."

Katie Smith scored 16 points, Deanna Nolan added 14 points and Plenette Pierson had 11 points and a team-record six blocks for the Shock (7-3), who lost their second consecutive game after winning seven of their first eight.

"The effort was there but we didn't play smart enough," Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. "We gave them too many second shots in the second half and we made untimely, careless turnovers in the second half."

The Sparks had a 70-60 lead with 9:08 to play when the Shock got within 72-71 with 5:18 remaining.

But Milton-Jones, Marie Ferdinand-Harris and Candace Parker each made a basket to extend Los Angeles' lead to 78-71 with 3:13 left. Parker finished with 10 points.