Thursday, July 9, 2009


By VIN A. CHERWOO, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP)—Betty Lennox scored 20 points, Tina Thompson had 16 and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the New York Liberty 69-60 on Thursday night.

Candace Parker, playing in her second game since returning after the birth of her daughter in May, had eight points and six rebounds in 23 minutes for the Sparks (4-6).

Janel McCarville scored 18 points, Essence Carson had 12 and Shameka Christon 10 for New York (3-7), which lost for the fourth time in five games.

Vanessa Hayden’s layup with 1:56 left in the third quarter started the Sparks’ 8-2 run that gave them a 53-47 lead heading in the final period.

Consecutive baskets by Marie Ferdinand-Harris, Parker and Noelle Quinn in a 55-second span stretched Los Angeles’ lead to 64-51 with 6 minutes to go.

Cathrine Kraayeveld’s running hook shot 2:40 later ended a scoreless drought for both teams and pulled the Liberty within 11.

However, Thompson’s straightaway 3 with 1:37 left gave the Sparks their biggest lead, 69-55.

New York closed the first half with an 11-3 run, capped by four straight points by Loree Moore, to tie it at 33-all.

Los Angeles missed its first five shots and trailed 11-0 before Parker’s reverse layup with about 4:30 left in the first quarter got the Sparks on the scoreboard.

After making four of their first eight shots, the Liberty finished the first quarter 6 for 17.

The Sparks used a 12-3 run over the first 3 minutes of the second quarter to take a 21-18 lead. Thompson’s three-point play on the previous possession gave Los Angeles its first lead.

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