63 - 75 Final
  for this game

Perkins scores 18 to lift slumping Sky over Sparks

Jul 30, 2009 - 3:34 AM CHICAGO(AP) -- Jia Perkins scored 18 points and the slumping Chicago Sky beat the Los Angeles Sparks 75-63 on Wednesday night.

The Sky (9-10) snapped a two-game losing streak as four players scored in double figures in front of a crowd of 5,633.

Reserve forward Shyra Ely tied a career high with 16 points, Sylvia Fowles scored 13, and Dominique Canty added 12.

"My job is to be ready when my number is called, and I was really thankful I was able to contribute," said Ely, a fifth-year pro from Tennessee. "The most important thing was that win to start the second half."

The Sparks (5-10) lost for the fourth time in five games despite 15 points from Delisha Milton-Jones. Tina Thompson scored 13 and reserve Betty Lennox had 10.

Los Angeles couldn't muster a win despite holding Chicago leading scorer Candace Dupree to two points.

"Candace didn't play her best game, but she played a heck of a defense," Fowles said. "Dominique stepped up big time and we got it done as a team."

The Sky built a double-digit lead in the third quarter and were ahead 58-48 heading into the final period. Los Angeles never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Milton-Jones and Thompson combined for 14 points in the first quarter, helping the Sparks to a 22-19 lead. Chicago got eight points from Ely, and a 15-2 run in the second quarter helped the Sky hold a 40-33 edge at halftime.

The game was the first of the season in Chicago for Sparks starter and local favorite Candace Parker, a two-time state champion and national prep basketball player of the year while at suburban Naperville Central High School.

Parker, playing in her seventh game after returning from maternity leave in early July, scored nine points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

"It's going to be a process coming back," Parker said. "Obviously, I'm nowhere near what I was last year. Basketball is so mental, and when you're used to doing some things you have that swagger about you. Some of that's gone and I've got to get it back, but it will eventually come."

With Parker as a draw, attendance was about 1,000 spectators higher than a typical Sky home game.