West All-Stars 81, East All-Stars 76
Once Again, West Proves Best in All-Star Game
WASHINGTON, July 15 (Ticker) -- The WNBA All-Star Game remained Lisa Leslie's personal showcase.
Leslie collected 18 points and 14 rebounds and came up with two key blocks down the stretch as the Western Conference recorded its fourth straight win in the WNBA Midseason Classic, 81-76 over the Eastern Conference.
"I told (my teammates) in the second half we had to come out and play serious now. It was 40-40 and I was going to go inside. That made the difference, getting us second opportunities on the boards, both offensively and defensively, in getting the awards."
Moments after Leslie twice rejected Tari Phillips, the New York
Liberty was called for a foul on an apparently clean block with
51 seconds to play. Tina Thompson of the Houston Comets made
both free throws to put the West in front for good, 77-76.
Charlotte Sting guard Andrea Stinson missed a runner with 36
seconds left and Leslie stripped the ball from Phillips 11
seconds later. Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes made two foul
shots and Thompson was 2-of-2 from the line after Phillips
fouled out with four seconds to play.
Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever scored 12 points but was the only player in double figures for the East, which got nine apiece from Stinson, Nykesha Sales of the Orlando Miracle, Tammy Sutton-Brown of the Sting and Penny Taylor of the Cleveland Rockers.
"I think the East has come a long way from getting blown out," Catchings said of the closest All-Star Game in WNBA history. "We had a chance. We had our chance to win it. That says a lot."
The teams battled to a 40-40 halftime deadlock, but the East did not take its first lead until Phillips sank two free throws to make it 50-48 with just over 16 minutes left. But Tamecka Dixon of the Sparks answered with a 3-pointer for the West.
The East shot just 33 percent (28-of-84) from the field and was outrebounded, 50-44. The West were not much better at 38 percent (31-of-81), making just 4-of-22 3-pointers.