Utah pops Monarchs
Sacramento, Calif. Natalie Williams had 29 points and 13 rebounds Saturday night, as the Utah Starzz beat the Sacramento Monarchs 75-69.
Utah (12-10) won its third straight, and pulled within a game of Sacramento (13-9) for fourth place in the Western Conference. The top four teams make the playoffs.
Yolanda Griffith had 29 points and 17 rebounds for the Monarchs, losers of three straight.
Utah, which trailed 38-34 at halftime, went on a 9-2 run to take a 63-60 lead on two free throws by Adrienne Goodson with 5:06 remaining in the game.
The Starzz shot 15-for-18 on free throws in the final seven minutes. Jennifer Azzi had the team's lone field goal during the stretch, with a short jumper that put U1tah ahead 68-63 with 2:46 left.
Azzi scored 16 points and had eight assists for Utah, which made 24 of 29 free throws overall. Margo Dydek had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Goodson added nine points.
Sacramento scored just five points over a nine-minute stretch when the Starzz took the lead for good. Tangela Smith scored 16 points for the Monarchs.
Sting 76, Mystics 73
Washington Andrea Stinson scored 24 points and the Charlotte Sting spoiled Darrell Walker's debut as coach of the Washington Mystics. Washington forced a number of late turnovers to cut a 16-point second-half deficit to two, but Dawn Staley made one free throw to make it 76-73 with eight seconds remaining. The Mystics (9-12) had a chance to tie, but Chamique Holdsclaw's 3-pointer at the buzzer was short. Stinson shot 10-for-14 from the field, and Staley added 17 points for Charlotte (4-17).
Rockers 79, Fever 55
Cleveland Merlakia Jones scored 13 points as five Cleveland players scored in double figures in the victory over Indiana. The Rockers never trailed and led by as many as 30 points en route to their fourth consecutive victory and fifth in six games. Rushia Brown and rookie Ann Wauters each scored 11 points and Mery Andrade and Vicki Hall added 10 apiece for Cleveland.
Sparks 58, Lynx 57
Los Angeles Lisa Leslie scored 24 points, including a 14-for-14 effort from the free-throw line to lead Los Angeles.