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Mystics hold off Sparks

Jul 18, 2014 - 5:00 AM Los Angeles, CA ( - Tierra Ruffin-Pratt netted 18 points off the bench and the Washington Mystics held off a late rally to take down the Los Angeles Sparks, 79-75, at Staples Center on Thursday.

Monique Currie and Ivory Latta scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Mystics, winners in three of four following a three-game skid. Washington also moved to .500 on the road (6-6).

Kia Vaughn added 14 points with a game-high nine rebounds in the triumph.

Washington used a big third quarter to pull in front after a back-and-forth opening 20 minutes. It was 34-34 after two quarters when the visitors got a spark from Ruffin-Pratt, whose personal 6-0 run midway through the frame helped the Mystics claim a 52-41 advantage. The lead reached 15 on Stefanie Dolson's layup with less than a minute left, and it was 61-50 heading to the fourth.

The Sparks fought back to tie the score with under two minutes to play. Candace Parker's layup highlighted an 8-0 run, which Parker capped with a pair of free throws.

Vaughn restored Washington's lead with a jumper at the other end, and Latta and Currie both made a pair of free throws late to secure the victory.

Jantel Lavender scored a game-high 23 points to pace Sparks, while Parker added 18 with seven boards and six assists.