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Storm evens first-round series with Sparks

Sep 19, 2009 - 4:32 AM SEATTLE(AP) -- Camille Little stole an inbounds pass and laid it in with 5 seconds left, helping the Seattle Storm stun the Los Angeles Sparks 75-74 on Friday night and even the best-of-3 WNBA Western Conference semifinals.

Game 3 is Sunday in Seattle.

The Sparks were up 74-70 when Sue Bird drained a 3-pointer with 10.7 seconds left, cutting the lead to one. Los Angeles called a timeout and inbounded from the sideline near midcourt. Little stole it, went under the hoop and laid it in one-handed.

Lisa Leslie, whose tip-in with 27.9 seconds left snapped a 70-70 tie, and Delisha Milton-Jones missed shots in the final seconds.

Swin Cash led Seattle with 18 points, Bird and Tanisha Wright had 15 apiece and Little finished with eight.

Reserve Betty Lennox had 17 points to lead the Sparks, while Candace Parker had 15, Tina Thompson 14 and Leslie 12.

The Storm avoided a fifth straight first-round playoff exit since winning the WNBA title in 2004.

Seattle used a 14-2 run over the first 5 minutes of the third quarter to turn a 45-34 deficit into a 48-47 lead. Wright capped the run with a three-point play with 4:55 left in the quarter. Little's basket at the end of the third gave the Storm a 56-55 lead.

The Storm scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to take a 63-55 lead. But the Sparks went on a 10-0 run and went up 65-63 on a shot by Thompson with 4:31 to play.

The teams went back and forth after that. Following Leslie's tip-in for a 72-70 lead, the Sparks extended it to 74-70 on two free throws by Thompson with 15 seconds remaining.