Leslie, L.A. swat Liberty
New York Lisa Leslie was confident she could overcome a two-point first half at Madison Square Garden.
"I have always struggled coming here to play," Leslie said after scoring 20 of her 22 points in the second half as the Los Angeles Sparks defeated the New York Liberty 72-67 Sunday. "I really had to get over the hump. Coach (Michael) Cooper said, 'We're going to come back to you, keep calling the plays until you get down here and establish yourself."'
Leslie had five blocked shots for the Sparks (9-2), who won their fifth straight game. Mwadi Mabika added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Becky Hammon had 18 points and Tamika Whitmore added 17 points for the Liberty (5-7), who fell to 2-4 at Madison Square Garden.
Leslie got into early foul trouble and shot just 1-of-8 from the field in the first half, but made 12 of 16 free throws in the second.
Shock 84, Sting 81
Charlotte, N.C. Elena Tornikidou scored 25 points and Tamicha Jackson hit a clutch jumper with 12 seconds left for Detroit. With the Shock leading 82-81, Jackson tied up Charlotte point guard Dawn Staley in the lane with 37 seconds remaining. On the ensuing jump ball, Staley was called for touching the ball on its upward flight, giving Detroit possession. Detroit (6-6) ran off most of the shot clock before Jackson's jumper from just inside the three-point line.
Rockers 64, Mercury 61
Cleveland Eva Nemcova, Rushia Brown and Chasity Melvin scored 13 points apiece for Cleveland, snapping Phoenix's three-game road winning streak. The Mercury had three chances to tie the score in the final 15 seconds. Tonya Edwards had a three-pointer blocked by Mery Andrade, got the ball back and rattled another three-pointer off the rim with 7.6 seconds to go. Phoenix again got the rebound, and Michelle Griffiths launched a three-pointer that missed as the final buzzer sounded.
Monarchs 92, Fire 76
Sacramento, Calif. Kedra Holland-Corn scored 20 points and Ruthie Bolton-Holifield had 14 of her 15 in the first half as Sacramento won its third straight.