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SPARKS 74, SEATTLE 61

Sparks win home opener

Candace Parker scores 21 points to lead team to its second victory over Seattle.

May 23, 2012|Wire Reports

Same opponent. Different location. Same result.

After losing to the Sparks in the teams' season opener on Friday, the Seattle Storm spent three days, including a shoot-around earlier Tuesday, working on jelling with one another offensively and playing more aggressive defensively.

Yet, as if on cue in a rematch at Staples Center, glitches by Seattle helped trigger the Sparks' 74-61 victory Tuesday night.

Candace Parker scored 21 points and Kristi Toliver had 18 for the Sparks.

Alana Beard scored 15 points.

On Friday in Seattle, the Sparks defeated the Storm, 72-66, after the Sparks had trailed by 21 points.

The only element missing in the Sparks' home opener Tuesday was a raucous crowd, unless you count the screaming for legend Lisa Leslie.

Otherwise, mistakes by both squads were clear signs that these two teams are still getting adjusted to roster overhauls.

The Storm dropped to 0-2 to open the season. It's the team's worst start since 2003, when it started 0-3.

Center Ann Wauters led the Storm with 15 points and Tina Thompson had 13.

With the Storm trailing 51-45 with 2:22 left in the third quarter, Storm guard Tanisha Wright committed her fourth foul and the Sparks went on a 9-2 run to take a 60-47 lead into the final quarter.

Seattle's 19 turnovers resulted in 24 points for the Sparks.

In the season-opening defeat last Friday, the Storm had 27 turnovers, fourth-highest in franchise history.

Down 30-19 in the second quarter Tuesday, Seattle went on a 14-5 run to close to two points after a three-pointer by Thompson. But Parker blocked a Camille Little driving layin attempt and Sue Bird overthrew a pass to Wauters to muddle the comeback.

The Sparks took a 37-33 lead into halftime, thanks to 14 points off 13 Seattle miscues.

In addition to her 21 points, Parker had 10 rebounds, six blocked shots, four assists and three steals.

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