By Chris Bernucca

June 6, 2008: Scoreboard | Video Play of the Day | Today in the WNBA Archive

The first game of Detroit's road trip had a first-and-10 moment as Plenette Pierson and Cheryl Ford outwork Sacramento's Rebekkah Brunson for possession in Friday's win.
Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images
Late Spark Lifts Mercury Past Sparks

Taurasi, Pondexter rewrite the script: In their season opener, the defending champion Phoenix Mercury were beaten by the Los Angeles Sparks as rookie sensation Candace Parker nearly had a triple-double in her WNBA debut. The loss triggered a surprising four-game slide for the Mercury, who finally notched their first win Tuesday. Friday's rematch with the Sparks in Los Angeles had a familiar feel as Parker again threatened a triple-double, putting the Mercury in an 18-point fourth-quarter hole. This time, however, Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter wrote a different ending, combining for 22 points in the final period. Phoenix outscored Los Angeles, 32-10, in the fourth quarter en route to a stunning victory. "We showed what our team is all about today," Pondexter said.

Shock hit the road, keep winning: The defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit Shock began a difficult four-game road trip Friday with a convincing win over Sacramento, their sixth straight triumph. Leading the way was Katie Smith, a former WNBA scoring champion who drained seven 3-pointers and scored 30 points. After a three-game stretch in which she managed just 13 points, Smith has 13 3-pointers and 82 points in her last three contests. Detroit will need more of that as it visits Seattle, Los Angeles and Phoenix. ... The San Antonio Silver Stars remained unbeaten at home with Friday's win over Washington. The Stars lost leading scorer Sophia Young to a strained groin in the first half, but Becky Hammon filled the void with 20 points, her third 20-plus game in the last four contests.
"We need to go out and compete and stop thinking as if we are an expansion team, because we are not anymore." -- Atlanta guard Ivory Latta, after the first-year Dream fell
to 0-6 with Friday's home loss to shorthanded Chicago.

Leilani Mitchell, Liberty
18 pts, 6-6 FG, 3-3 3-pt FG, 3-4 FT
81-73 win vs. Comets

Katie Smith, Shock
30 pts, 11-21 FG, 7-12 3-pt FG
84-70 win at Monarchs

Seimone Augustus, Lynx
22 pts, 10-19 FG, 1-2 3-pt FG
78-77 loss at Sun

Nakia Sanford, Mystics
1-9 FG, 1-2 FT, 3 pts
63-52 loss at Silver Stars

Nicky Anosike, Lynx
1-8 FG, 2-4 FT, 4 pts
78-77 loss at Sun

Kelly Miller/Kelly Mazzante, Mercury
combined 0-13 FG, 0-5 3-pt FG, 0 pts
85-79 win at Sparks

Saturday's Games ...

  • Comets at Fever, 7 p.m. ET (NBA TV)

  • Dream at Sky, 8 p.m. ET

  • Shock at Storm, 10 p.m. ET
  • Pierson

    The Connecticut Sun were reeling Friday. Facing the unbeaten Minnesota Lynx at home, they gave away a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and faced a 77-72 deficit with less than 90 seconds to play. But Tamika Whitmore put home a follow shot before Asjha Jones went to work. With 55 seconds left, she made a layup. On the Sun's next possession, she drilled a jumper with 15 seconds left, giving Connecticut the lead. The Sun survived as Seimone Augustus missed a jumper for a thrilling win. Jones finished with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
    The list of WNBA players who have scored 5,000 career points doubled in length Friday night as Houston Comets forward Tina Thompson joined Lisa Leslie in the highly exclusive club. Thompson eclipsed the plateau by scoring a season-high 28 points in a loss at New York. The veteran also pulled down 10 rebounds, one shy of her season high, and added two steals. In her 12th season, Thompson is showing no signs of slowing down. She is averaging 18.0 points, eighth in the WNBA, and a career-high 9.1 rebounds, third in the league.