Leslie lifts Sparks to 78-63 win over LynxAug 20, 2009 - 6:07 AM LOS ANGELES(AP) -- Playing in the final stretch of her career, Lisa Leslie showed she can still dominate a game.
Leslie scored a season-high 28 points to lead the Sparks to a 76-63 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday night.
"She took it upon her shoulders that we weren't going to lose," Sparks coach Michael Cooper said. "She had one of her fifth-, sixth-gear games that I hadn't seen in a long time."
Leslie, who has announced she is retiring after the season, made 13 of 15 shots from both inside and the perimeter before leaving to a standing ovation with 5:01 remaining.
"That's the only way I know how to play," Leslie said of her intensity. "Maybe I'm the last of the Mohicans from that (first WNBA) generation, because it's definitely changing."
Yet Leslie said her successful night had an undistinguished start.
"I had three, if not four, turnovers in a row," Leslie said. "That was quite embarassing. Then everybody was telling me, 'Well, you were the one open. Just shoot it.' So I'm like, 'OK, fine.' If you just want me to shoot, I can correct that."
Leslie had a big nighttwo weeks after returning from a sprained right knee with a knee brace.
"I'm not playing with pain," Leslie said. "I don't really think about my knee and the brace. I would love to take it off. I think I could play without it. But the doctor originally said they wouldn't let me play unless I had it on. So I just drag it along."
Noelle Quinn added 13 points and seven assists, DeLisha Milton-Jones scored 12 points and Candace Parker had 10 rebounds for the Sparks (11-13), who won their third consecutive game.
Renee Montgomery scored 16 points for the Lynx (11-14), who have lost four in a row and nine of their last 11. Candice Wiggins added 13 points and Rashanda McCants grabbed a season-high eight rebounds.
Los Angeles, which has 10 games left, moved into a tie with San Antonio for third place in the Western Conference. Minnesota fell a half-game behind the Sparks and Silver Stars.
After McCants' layup gave the Lynx a 37-35 lead, the Sparks used a 16-1 spree to move ahead by 13 with 4:35 left in the third quarter. Leslie led the surge with eight points.
Los Angeles then had 21-3 run to take a 78-47 lead on Parker's two free throws with 4:19 to go. Leslie had six points as the Sparks scored 12 straight to start the run. After Charde Houston hit a 3 for the Lynx, Los Angeles scored the next nine points.
Minnesota, which shot just 10 for 38 in the second half, closed the game with a 16-0 run as the Sparks missed their final six shots.
Lynx guard Roneeka Hodges did not play because of a strained left ankle.
- WNBA Capsules May 22
- WNBA Capsules May 21
- WNBA Capsules May 21
- WNBA Capsules May 18
- WNBA Capsules May 15
- WNBA Capsules May 14
- Minnesota Lynx No. 1 in first AP WNBA power poll May 13
- WNBA set to tip off 20th season this weekend May 13
- Champion Lynx begin season with 1 more mountain to climb May 8
- Minnesota Lynx re-sign ex-Gopher center Janel McCarville May 7
- Taurasi, Catchings, Bird headline US women's Olympic team Apr 27
- Candace Parker disappointed, will not be on US hoops roster Apr 26