SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 22 (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Sparks had no trouble with the Utah Starzz during the regular season and the playoffs are proving no different.

DeLisha Milton had 17 points (15 in the second half) and seven rebounds and Lisa Leslie added 12 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks as the Sparks posted a 75-67 victory over the Starzz in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

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Los Angeles won all three regular-season meetings with the Starzz and the first playoff game between the teams produced the same result. The defending champions used a balanced attack to overwhelm Utah in the final 20 minutes.

Michael Cooper and Lisa Leslie hope to be pointed back to the WNBA Finals.
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The Sparks trailed most of the first half but took a 34-32 edge into halftime. Mwadi Mabika, who had 11 points and seven rebounds, made consecutive layups to open the second half.

Tamecka Dixon made a jumper with 14:23 remaining to give Los Angeles a 50-40 lead and spark a 15-9 run. Dixon scored six of her 13 points during the spurt, which gave the Sparks their largest lead, 65-49, with 7:32 to go.

Nikki Teasley scored 11 points for Los Angeles, which shot just 35 percent (24-of-68) but scored 23 points off 21 Utah turnovers. The Sparks improved to 3-0 in the playoffs this season and have now won six straight playoff games, dating back to last season.

Natalie Williams collected 14 points and 11 rebounds and Marie Ferdinand and Margo Dydek scored 13 points apiece as the Starzz shot 37 percent (23-of-62) on their home floor.