Ferdinand-Harris helps Sparks cruise past Storm

LOS ANGELES(AP) Marie Ferdinand-Harris scored a season-high 15 points to lift the short-handed Sparks to an 82-55 victory against the Seattle Storm on Sunday night.

Playing their third game without injured three-time league MVP Lisa Leslie, five players scored in double figures for Sparks (3-5). Betty Lennox had 14 points, Vanessa Hayden scored 12, DeLisha Milton-Jones 11 and Noelle Quinn 10 for the Sparks. Shannon Bobbitt had a season-high eight assists.

"I think right now everybody's stepping up and taking their game to another level,'' Ferdinand-Harris said. "When you lose a player like Lisa Leslie, there's a sense of urgency where everybody needs to step up and do more than they're normally doing.

"I've been trying to do more offensively and defensively just to try to make up for what we lose in a Lisa Leslie.''

Leslie is out with a severely sprained right knee and is expected to miss about six games. Los Angeles is also still without reigning MVP and Rookie of the Year Candace Parker, who is recovering after giving birth last month.

Lauren Jackson, who scored a season-high 32 points in a win at home against the Sparks on Friday night, was held to nine points on 3 of 10 shooting for Seattle (6-3). Camille Little also had nine points for the Storm, who didn't have a single player score in double digits.

"LA played really, well and we didn't,'' said Storm guard Sue Bird, who made just 3 of 11 field goals for seven points. "We couldn't match their energy level after the first quarter.''

The Sparks made a season-high 19 free throws and had a season-high 23 assists. They held the Storm to a season low in points and forced them to commit a season-high 22 turnovers.

The Storm pulled within 10 points several times in the third quarter, but the Sparks answered each time.

After Swin Cash's layup cut the Sparks' lead to 53-43 with 4:06 left in the period, the Sparks scored six straight points.

The Storm then scored just two more points the rest of the quarter and the Sparks made six free throws to take a 67-45 lead heading into the fourth.

The Sparks used an aggressive defensive effort and outhustled the Storm in the second quarter to take a 41-30 halftime lead.

"We really contested all their shots, ran them off the 3-point line, we double-teamed Lauren every time she got it on the pass,'' Cooper said. "Whenever we're moving around defensively, it creates easy offense for us.''

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