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Storm beat Sparks 79-75 in WNBA's 2nd outdoor game

Jun 6, 2010 - 5:45 AM CARSON, Calif.(AP) -- Sue Bird scored 22 points and the Seattle Storm beat the Los Angeles Sparks 79-75 Saturday night in the WNBA's second outdoor game.

Lauren Jackson had 17 points and nine rebounds, Camille Little scored 16 points and Swin Cash had 12 to help Seattle (7-1) win its third straight.

Candace Parker led the Sparks (1-6) with 24 points and eight rebounds, Tina Thompson had 17 points and Kristi Tolliver added 15.

The Storm took control of the game 3 minutes into the second quarter.

Los Angeles trailed by 16 in the fourth quarter before pulling to 69-66 when Thompson's layup capped an 18-6 run.

However, Bird made two critical jumpers, including a 3-pointer, to help Seattle hold on at the tennis stadium of the Home Depot Center.

"I think that every market should do an outdoor game," WNBA president Donna Orender said. "Basketball's an outdoor game. There's an outdoor culture of people playing outside."

The Indiana Fever beat the New York Liberty 71-55 on July 19, 2008, at New York City's Arthur Ashe Stadium, site of the U.S. Open, in the league's first outdoor game.

The Storm outrebounded the Sparks 32-27 and had five more assists. Los Angeles was just 2 for 12 on 3-pointers.

After trailing by 17, the Sparks pulled within six points several times in the second quarter.

Parker scored eight of the team's 19 points in the period and had three assists to help cut the Storm's lead to 39-31 at halftime.

The Sparks held an early 6-5 lead when Kristi Tolliver made a jumper to put them ahead.

The Storm then answered with a 20-2 run by outrebounding the Sparks and forcing them to commit four turnovers during the stretch.