Sparks lose as Thompson becomes WNBA points leaderAug 9, 2010 - 3:33 AM LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Tina Thompson scored 23 points to become the WNBA's all-time scoring leader Sunday night in a 92-83 loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars.
She surpassed Lisa Leslie's career total of 6,263 points when Thompson hit a 16-footer with 5:01 left in the third quarter. Leslie, who played for Los Angeles for her entire career, retired last year.
The Sparks acknowledged Thompson's feat at a timeout less than a minute later.
"Basketball started here in L.A. for me," said Thompson, who attended Southern California. "Anything I'm able to accomplish here is a pretty big deal because it's in front of my family, my friends and the people who supported me."
Los Angeles coach Jennifer Gillom said she was relieved that Thompson set the record.
"I just think it was a distraction," Gillom said. "There's been a lot of talk about it. I'm just glad that it's over with so we can get that out of our heads and start focusing on winning games."
Roneeka Hodges scored 19 points for the Silver Stars (11-17), who have won three of five. Becky Hammon had 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Sophia Young added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
"I thought it was one of our better games," Silver Stars coach Sandy Brondello said. "I think we had more focus for this game. We needed a sense of urgency and we wanted to play with that edge."
The victory put San Antonio into third place in the Western Conference by a half-game over Minnesota and one game over Los Angeles. The top four finishers qualify for the WNBA playoffs.
"This was a big game for us," Hammon said. "We were looking at this as a playoff game and we tried to bring that kind of intensity from the start."
DeLisha Milton-Jones scored 21 points for the Sparks (10-18) and Ticha Penicheiro added 12 points, a season-high nine rebounds and eight assists.
San Antonio used a 16-4 surge, led by Hammon's eight points, to move ahead 25-19 with 1:17 left in the first quarter. After Los Angeles drew within 28-27, the Silver Stars went on a 9-0 run to build a 37-27 lead with 3:43 before halftime.
"We wanted to come out and throw the first punch," Hammon said, "then maintain an aggressive style."
The Silver Stars put the Sparks away with a 14-3 spree that extended the margin to 82-66 with 3:51 to play. Crystal Kelly scored nine of her season-best 15 points during that run.
San Antonio shot 53.2 percent and out-rebounded Los Angeles, 38-21.
SAN ANTONIO 92
LOS ANGELES 83 FINAL
Aug 8 10:10 PM
SAN ANTONIO 25
LOS ANGELES 21 END, 1ST QTR
Aug 8 8:26 PM
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