Final

Sparks 68

(14-12, 6-8 away)

Liberty 69

(14-10, 9-3 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    7:30 PM ET, July 25, 2008

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    LA 16 14 20 1868
    NY 18 15 23 1369

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: L. Leslie 16 Pts, 13 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    New York: J. McCarville 15 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    McCarville's shot with 6.4 seconds left helps Liberty stop Sparks

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Janel McCarville believed the New York Liberty would prevail despite blowing an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.

    McCarville's layup with 6.4 seconds left lifted the Liberty to a 69-68 win over the Sparks on Friday night.

    "I was pretty confident we were going to win the game," said McCarville, who led the Liberty with 15 points. "It shows how much heart and desire we had this game. We persevered as a team and overcame a lot."

    The Sparks got Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker and DeLisha Milton-Jones back from their one game suspensions for their involvement in Tuesday's altercation with the Detroit Shock. The three Olympians missed Thursday night's 87-61 loss at Connecticut.

    Having their three stars back wasn't enough to help Los Angeles (14-12) win, despite the late rally.

    "They have three Olympians ... three of the best players in the league," New York coach Pat Coyle said. "They are going to make a run."

    Trailing 68-67 with 11 seconds left, McCarville drove on Leslie and scored a tough shot in the lane.

    "I was frustrated that I turned the ball over on the two possessions leading up to the shot I hit," McCarville said. "I was just trying to stay focused and do whatever was called upon me."

    Los Angeles had one last chance, but Leslie's shot in the lane at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

    "For McCarville that was a great basket that she hit," Los Angeles coach Michael Cooper said. "We had a chance to win and we just couldn't get it done."

    Milton-Jones led the Sparks with 19 points and Leslie added 16 points and 13 rebounds.

    The Sparks were still short-handed -- missing Shannon Bobbitt and Murriel Page, who were both suspended two games by the league for their involvement in the scuffle. Bobbitt sat out the loss to Connecticut, but Page was allowed to play so that the Sparks would be able to suit up the league minimum eight players.

    Bobbitt missed her first chance to play at home in New York. She had played in the Garden before as she led Murray Bergtraum to two New York City public high school titles.

    "Having Bobbitt tonight definitely would have helped us," Cooper said.

    Parker, the top pick in the last draft, was excited to get to play at Madison Square Garden.

    "It's definitely disappointing to come away with a loss, but I'm still happy to have finally played here," said Parker, the former Tennessee star who had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

    The Liberty (14-10) have won five of their last six games with the only loss coming in the Outdoor Classic.

    New York beat Los Angeles 89-78 in Los Angeles on July 12, rallying from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit. On Friday night it was the Sparks, who almost rallied from 11 down.

    "It's was kind of similar, but in both games we had lulls and it felt like we were down 20 tonight," Milton-Jones said.

    New York led 56-50 after three quarters and scored the first five points of the fourth period before Los Angeles clamped down on defense and held the Liberty without a field goal over the next 5 minutes.

    The Sparks went on a 9-1 run capped by Milton-Jones' 3-pointer with 3:35 left to make it 62-59.

    Ashley Battle ended New York's scoreless drought with a floater in the lane to extend the lead to five.

    Los Angeles scored the next six points and took its first lead since early in the first quarter on Milton-Jones' free throw with 43.1 seconds left.

    Cathrine Kraayeveld, who finished with 11 points, hit a 3-pointer from the wing to give New York a 67-65 advantage with 27.4 seconds left.

    After a timeout, Keisha Brown then hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 15 seconds left to restore the Sparks' lead setting up the exciting finish.

    "It didn't come down to that last play," Milton-Jones said. "We can't have that many turnovers and expect to win a game."

    Los Angeles finished the game with 20 turnovers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

      Los Angeles New York
    Points 68 69
    FG Made-Attempted 27-63 (.000) 26-65 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-8 (.375) 9-27 (.333)
    FT Made-Attempted 11-16 (.000) 8-9 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-38 11-26
    Assists 16 15
    Turnovers 18 12
    Steals 6 9
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 4 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 20 (0/0)