WASHINGTON -- Candace Parker had 15 points and 11 rebounds Saturday for her third double-double in four games as the Sparks defeated the Washington Mystics, 70-59.
The Sparks (3-1) led by as many as 16 in the third quarter but fell behind by a point on Nakia Sanford's putback with just over six minutes left in the game. However, Los Angeles closed with an 18-6 run to extend its strong start while opening the season on a five-game trip.
Lisa Leslie scored 17 points to lead five players in double figures for the Sparks. DeLisha Milton-Jones, playing for the first time in Washington since being dealt for Taj McWilliams-Franklin on April 22, added 12.
Monique Currie scored 15 points for the Mystics (2-3), who shot a season-low 31.9%, mainly caused by a horrendous first half. They went through a 13-minute span in which they made one for 17 shots while the Sparks went on a 17-4 run en route to a 37-22 halftime lead.
"Turnovers can hurt you and they especially hurt us when we got the 15-point lead," Parker said. "We started throwing the ball away. Good teams like the Mystics can make up the big difference."
McWilliams-Franklin scored 14 points for the Mystics, whose two-game winning streak ended.
"We got off to a slow start and we dug ourselves into a hole," McWilliams-Franklin said. "We managed to get ourselves out of the hole. . . . But we also didn't bring enough in the fourth quarter to win."