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Leslie making most of final games with Sparks

The days are ticking away for the 13-year WNBA veteran, who will retire at the end of the season. And she's enjoying every minute of it.

September 20, 2009|Mark Medina

Sparks center Lisa Leslie sat down at a table for a postgame news conference in a joking mood.

"My name is Lisa," she said following the Sparks' Game 1 victory Wednesday in their best-of-three Western Conference semifinals series against Seattle. "I'm not sure if you guys had some questions for me, but I thought I'd come in."

The days are ticking away for Leslie, who will retire following the postseason after a storied 13-year career in the WNBA. And she's enjoying every minute of it.

That would come to an end, however, if the Sparks lose the third and deciding game today against the Storm.

"Lisa, clearly you're going to miss this part of it, right?" a reporter asked, referring to Leslie's role as league ambassador.

"Oh, absolutely," she answered, smiling.

Leslie said she wants to prolong her remaining games for a third WNBA championship, and not because it would extend her farewell tour.

A victory today would at least lengthen that for an appearance in the Western Conference finals.

"It's not necessarily regarding the retirement," said Leslie, who has averaged 13 points and 12 rebounds through two games in the postseason. "In the playoffs, it can be the last go-round for anybody.

"For me, it's kind of like, 'Don't have any regrets and don't leave the court feeling like I could've done something better.' "

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mark.medina@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesmedina

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