Parker helps Sparks beat Shock
TULSA, Okla. (AP)
Candace Parker had 20 points and nine rebounds and the Los Angeles Sparks snapped a two-game losing streak with a 74-70 victory over the Tulsa Shock on Friday night.
Parker hit a long jumper with 1:16 remaining to help the Sparks (22-10) avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Nneka Ogwumike added 16 points for Los Angeles and Lindsey Harding and Kristi Toliver each had 11. Harding set up Parker for her long jumper that made it 65-62.
''It was a great pass by Lindsey,'' Parker said. ''She found me in the corner, and it was just a normal step in to it, shoot it.''
Parker scored 10 points in the first quarter, including eight straight, as Los Angeles built a 21-12 lead. Her only blemish during that stretch came when she missed a one-handed dunk on a fast break.
''Everybody game plans for her, so we try move it around a little bit early and then come back to her,'' Sparks coach Carol Ross said. ''She's always available offensively for us, and she's always a great option. I thought she was really solid playing inside out.''
Glory Johnson led Tulsa (10-21) with 19 points, and Riquna Williams had 18.
Nicole Powell made a short jumper to pull the Shock to 72-70 with 28 seconds left. But the Sparks made all four of their free throws over the final 16 seconds.
''Looking at it, we did not shoot the ball very well,'' Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg said. ''I mean, 4 for 22 from the 3-point line, we're the fourth-best 3-point shooting team in the league.''
Tulsa was held to 33 points in the second half.
''I'm proud of their effort,'' Kloppenburg said. ''I felt they fought and battled, even though we struggled at the offensive end. The margin for our team is very slim, and we have to shoot the ball at a decent percentage.