Site--America West Arena, Phoenix.
Records--Sparks 5-10, Mercury 8-4.
Update--The Sparks, still groping for a formula that will enable them to hold on to leads, enter a hostile environment tonight, the Sparks-Mercury rivalry having recently heated up. Phoenix Coach Cheryl Miller sounded off this week, over last week's dismissal of Linda Sharp by the Sparks. Miller played for Sharp at USC. "How can I say it without cursing?" Miller said. "Linda Sharp is a tremendous coach. For her to get fired shows me what the Sparks' organization is all about." Miller and her USC point guard teammate, Rhonda Windham, now the Sparks' general manager, apparently have parted company over the Sharp firing. A victory over the Sparks tonight would widen the WNBA's Western Conference gap between leader Phoenix and Sacramento (5-8) and Los Angeles. The Sparks lost their fifth game in the last six on Wednesday, 89-85 to Cleveland. Phoenix had won three in a row until being upended by Houston on Tuesday. The Mercury beat the Sparks, 57-56, on a shot by Toni Foster with less than a second left July 13.