2004 Record
25-9, .735
(1st in West)

Points Scored
2495 (1st overall, 1st in West)
Points Allowed
2361 (10th overall, 6th in West)
Scoring Differential
+3.9 (2nd overall, 2nd in West)

Award Winners & Honorees
Olympians
Lisa Leslie
DeLisha Milton-Jones
All-Stars
Nikki Teasley
Mwadi Mabika
All-WNBA
Lisa Leslie, First Team
Nikki Teasley, Second Team
2005 WNBA MVP
Lisa Leslie
Defensive Player of the Year
Lisa Leslie

2004 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 - 12, Christi Thomas
Rd. 2 - 25, Doneeka Hodges

Playoff History
Six out of eight years
Last Appearance
2004, Lost in First Round

2004 In Review:
What Went Right?

Another year, another 20-win season for the Sparks, who paced the WNBA with 25 wins, marking their sixth straight season with more than 20 wins. Since the beginning of the 1999 season, the Sparks are an astounding 150-46 (.765) with two WNBA championships.

Leslie
Los Angeles has enjoyed astonishing continuity during their reign as the WNBA's best team. Lisa Leslie, Mwadi Mabika and Tamecka Dixon have played together for all eight seasons of the WNBA's existence. DeLisha Milton-Jones joined that trio prior to the 1999 season, and the results have been explosive.

Leslie, the leading scorer in WNBA history, won her second MVP award. The league's leader in rebounds (9.9) and blocks (2.88), Leslie also earned All-WNBA and Defensive Player of the Year honors. She was the league's third leading scorer (17.6 ppg), she led the league in double-doubles (17) and posted a rare WNBA triple-double with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks on September 9 vs. Detroit.

Mabika (14.4 ppg), Milton-Jones (9.8) and Dixon (9.7) all enjoyed their usual productive seasons, as did third-year point guard Nikki Teasley, who scored 9.9 ppg and averaged a league-leading 6.1 apg. She was named to the All-WNBA Second Team.

Rookie Christi Thomas looks like a keeper. The 6-3 forward stepped in for an injured Milton-Jones and averaged 9.5 points and 6.4 rebounds over the final eight games of the regular season.

What Went Wrong?

The Sparks season had everything in 2004 except a happy ending.

In early July, Head Coach Michael Cooper accepted an assistant coach position with the Denver Nuggets. Assistants Karleen Thompson and Ryan Weisenberg took over and shared the reins, leading the team to an 11-3 finish.

Milton-Jones suffered a season-ending injury on July 9, ending her season after only 19 games. The front-court depth took another hit when Laura Macchi returned to her native Italy over the Olympic break and wasn't available until the team's final playoff game vs. Sacramento.

The Monarchs matched up well with the Sparks and had an axe to grind, having been eliminated by the Sparks in the Conference Finals in 2001 and 2003. Furthermore, they were the only team to beat Los Angeles twice during the regular season.

Sacramento's Yolanda Griffith and company neutralized Leslie, holding the MVP to 11.3 ppg in Sacramento's unlikely 2-1 series win. In the decisive third game, the Sparks suffered their worst home loss of the season, a 73-58 lashing that put a surprising end to an otherwise outstanding season. It marked the first time the Sparks had ever lost a first-round series.

Head Coach
TBD
2004 Starting Lineup
G- Nikki Teasley
G- Tamecka Dixon
F- Mwadi Mabika
F- DeLisha Milton-Jones
C- Lisa Leslie
Key 2004 Reserves
Tamika Whitmore
Christi Thomas
Laura Macchi
Key Additions
Key Losses

Looking Ahead To 2005:
Key Questions

Holdsclaw
Four the first time in four seasons, the Sparks will have to pencil a new name in the starting lineup. The Sparks made the biggest splash of the offseason when they traded Milton-Jones and their first-round pick to Washington in exchange for Chamique Holdsclaw. Will the former Mystics star be able to overcome her battle with depression with a fresh start in Los Angeles?

How much will Milton-Jones be missed? Thomas showed she could step up her game last year, but is she ready to do it on a full-time basis in her second season? Even if she can pick up the slack offensively, can she bring the defense like her predecessor?

Finally, who will be in charge of making that decision? The team has yet to name a head coach for what has to be the league's most-coveted job. Whoever that person is will have the task of maintaining the closest thing to dynasty that exists in team sports, and a tandem of Leslie/Holdsclaw that rivals Seattle's combo of Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson as the most talented duo in the WNBA.