Wauters, Young Lead Silver Stars Over Sparks

San Antonio 77, Los Angeles 75 (F)

SAN ANTONIO, June 20 (AP) -- The San Antonio Silver Stars needed big performances to keep pace with the best team in the West, the Los Angeles Sparks.

They got it from their biggest players.

Ann Wauters had 21 points and Sophia Young added 20 to lead San Antonio to a 77-75 victory over the Sparks on Friday night, the Silver Stars' fifth straight win.

Becky Hammon added 19 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Silver Stars.

"We know L.A. is a great team, but it feels so good to beat them,'' said Wauters, who spent the last two seasons playing overseas. "Especially in front of our crowd, which was phenomenal today and gave us all a really good feeling.''

The matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference seemed to be in hand when the Silver Stars went up 52-34 with 7:01 left in the third quarter on a free throw by Wauters.

But Candace Parker, who finished with 27 points and nine rebounds, keyed a furious comeback by the Sparks, who had won four straight.

Parker had 12 points in the fourth quarter and her free throws with 14.2 seconds left cut the lead to 75-73.

But Hammon was fouled on the other end with 12.8 seconds left and made both free throws to seal the win and keep the Silver Stars perfect at home this season.

"It was a frustrating game, obviously,'' Parker said. "We were down, but we've been down before as I thought we kept fighting, especially in the fourth quarter, but it was too late.''

Lisa Leslie had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Sparks, while Kiesha Brown also had 11 points.

The Silver Stars, last in the WNBA in field goal percentage, shot 59 percent in the fist half (17-of-29). San Antonio ended the second quarter on an 11-2 run to take a 45-28 lead.

"I thought we played some of our best basketball in the first half,'' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. "Thank goodness we had that cushion, because I thought they made a strong run back at us.''

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