Gm 1: at Sac., Thu., 8/24, 10 p.m. ET. NBA TV
Gm 2: at LA., Sat., 8/26, 9 p.m. ET. ESPN2
Gm 3*: at LA., Sun., 8/27, 10 p.m. ET, NBA TV
While the Monarchs rolled through the first round and swept the Comets, the Sparks did not have it as easy as they were forced to a three-game series against the Storm. These two veteran clubs know each other well and are meeting in the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three years. It took the Sacramento Monarchs nearly half the season to start looking like the defending champions, but the Monarchs rolled off a seven-game winning streak after the All-Star break and rolled into the playoffs as the second seed. Despite a slight decline in Yolanda Griffith's scoring and rebounding numbers from last season, the 2005 WNBA Finals M.V.P. is still leading the Monarchs as they make their eighth straight postseason appearance. The Los Angeles Sparks, who got out of the first round for the first time in the last three season, have lost their last four road games, including an 84-72 loss to the Storm in Game 1 of the semi-finals, but are riding an eight-game home winning streak into the Western Conference Finals. The top-seed in the West is led by M.V.P candidate Lisa Leslie, who paced the Sparks during the 2006 season in scoring (20.0 ppg), rebounding (9.5 rpg), blocks (1.68 bpg) and field goal percentage (51.1% fg). Mwadi Mabika also had a breakout game in Game Two to keep the Sparks series alive while Temeka Johnson had an all-around solid first round series.

2006 Regular Season: Los Angeles Sparks 3- Sacramento Monarchs 0
Some fast facts about the Sparks-Monarchs Western Conference Finals matchup:

The last time the Monarchs entered the postseason as a two-seed was in 2001. They advanced to the Conference Finals, but ended up losing to the Los Angeles Sparks in three games. The Monarchs won the title last year as the top seed in the West, yet won Game One of the 2005 WNBA Finals on the road and sealed the deal at home in Game 4.
Yolanda Griffith was the only player on the Monarchs to average double-digits in points per game this season (12.0 ppg). Yet, DeMya Walker returned from maternity leave near the end of July and has steadily improved throughout the season. She averaged nearly 12 ppg in her final 12 games.
Sixth Woman of the Year... Chamique Holdsclaw averaged 15.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists without starting a single game during the regular season. However, during Game One of their first round matchup against the Storm, Holdsclaw started her first game of the season and finished with 13 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes. Yet she was limited to only two minutes of court time with Plantar fasciitis.

Talk about a 1-2 punch, center Lisa Leslie led the Sparks in scoring 20 times and teammate Chamique Holdsclaw led the team seven times. Yet, the Sparksonly managed to go 3-4 when neither Holdsclaw nor Leslie was the team's leadings scorers during the regular season.


Sunday, June 18, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA : Sparks 80, Monarchs 69 | Box score
Sacramento Leaders: Nicole Powell (15 pts., 6 ast.), Kara Lawson (14 pts., 1 reb.)
Los Angeles Leaders: Mwadi Mabika (27 pts., 1 reb.), Lisa Leslie(16 pts., 7 reb)
NBA TV highlights: Play

Friday, June 23, Arco Arena, Sacramento, CA: Sparks 77, Monarchs 63 | Box score
Sacramento Leaders: Scholanda Dorrell (15 pts., 4 reb.), Yolanda Griffith (14 pts., 5 reb.)
Los Angeles Leaders: Mwadi Mabika (24 pts., 3 reb.), Chamique Holdsclaw (12 pts., 8 reb)
NBA TV highlights: Play

Sunday, August 9, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA : Sparks 69, Monarchs 58 | Box score
Sacramento Leaders: Kara Lawson (18 pts., 5 reb.), DeMya Walker (12 pts., 3 reb.)
Los Angeles Leaders: Lisa Leslie (18 pts., 10 reb), Mwadi Mabika (16 pts., 3 reb.)