LOS ANGELES, June 11 (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Sparks had to feel fortunate they had such a hot start.

Tamika Whitmore and Chamique Holdsclaw led a first-half surge as the Sparks built a huge lead before holding on for an 81-74 victory over the Sacramento Monarchs.

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Trying to avenge their worst loss of the season, the Sparks led by as many as 31 points in the first half before settling for a 47-21 cushion at the break.

Whitmore made 7-of-8 shots and scored 16 of her 19 points in the first half. Holdsclaw converted 6-of-8 shots and scored 12 points in the half, in which the Sparks shot 61 percent (19-of-31).

Holdsclaw finished with 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting.

Nikki Teasley added 11 points for Los Angeles, which absorbed an 81-53 loss at Sacramento last Saturday.

The Monarchs did not go down without a fight as they used a 15-0 run early in the second half to get back in the game. They got as close as seven points on three occasions.

Yolanda Griffith scored 16 points and Nicole Powell and DeMya Walker each added 13 for the Monarchs, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.