The first WNBA All-Star Game tipped off at 7:49 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden. Kym Hampton of the New York Liberty and Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks lined up for the tip. Leslie tipped the ball to West teammate Michele Timms of the Phoenix Mercury.

Sheryl Swoopes of the Houston Comets scored the first points seconds into the game. She scored on a seven-foot jump shot off an assist by Timms.

Washington Mystics forward Chamique Holdsclaw jammed her left index finger during the first half of the game. X-rays showed a chip fracture to Holdsclaw's left index finger. She did not return to the game.

The Sparks' Lisa Leslie was named MVP of the game. She scored 13 points to go along with five rebounds in 17 minutes on the court.

The World Cup Champion USA Women's Soccer Team was honored in the first half. The Garden crowd gave Mia Hamm, Sara Whalen, Brandi Chastain, Saskia Webber amd Christie Pearce a sustained standing ovation when they were introduced. Even the WNBA All-Stars broke their huddle to clap for the World Champs.

Celebrity sightings: Seen in the crowd were Tipper Gore, Spike Lee, Liza Minelli, Gregory Hines, Ann Meyers, Queen Latifah, Billy Baldwin, Tracey Ullman, Tyra Banks, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys, Beverly Peele, Tom Brokaw, Robin Leach, Joan Jett, Linda Ellerbee, Lynn Whitfield, Laurence Fishburne, Melissa Joan Hart, Tina Louise, Charlie Ward, Stephon Marbury, Scott Burrell, LL Cool J, Katie Couric, Leon, Julius "Dr. J" Erving and Derek Anderson.

Whitney Houston wowed the sellout crowd of 18,649 with a soulful rendition of the National Anthem.