Parker, Ferdinand-Harris help Sparks pull one out

LOS ANGELES(AP) Marie Ferdinand-Harris and Candace Parker combined to give the Los Angeles Sparks a dramatic victory.

Ferdinand-Harris scored all of her nine points in the final eight minutes, Parker made three free throws in the last 30 seconds, and the Sparks rallied for a 72-69 victory over the Washington Mystics on Tuesday night.

Parker finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four blocks for the Sparks (10-13). Lisa Leslie added 20 points, but Parker said Ferdinand-Harris - who did not play the first three quarters - made the difference.

"It was huge,'' Parker said. "Coming off the bench cold in the fourth quarter when her number was called, she has all the respect in the world.''

Why didn't Sparks coach Michael Cooper use Ferdinand-Harris earlier?

"When I'm coaching, I'm looking and looking to see where a player best fits for us,'' Cooper said. "I thought the fourth quarter was her quarter.''

The Mystics (12-13), who trailed by as many as 11 points, used Matee Ajavon's bank shot to move ahead 55-54 with 8:15 to play. Ajavon finished with a season-high 20 points.

"Matee was a big spark,'' Mystics guard Lindsey Harding said. "She started attacking and everyone else started attacking and scoring off the mismatches. It was contagious.''

But Ferdinand-Harris scored five points, and added a rebound and an assist during 7-0 spurt that gave Los Angeles a 61-55 lead with 5:39 remaining.

"As long as there's time on the clock, I try to stay ready at any time,'' Ferdinand-Harris said. "I knew they were really sagging off the guards so I wanted to come in and be ready to shoot.''

Ajavon's jumper forced a 67-all tie with a minute left. Ferdinand-Harris made two free throws with 45 seconds to play, then dived on the floor to recover a loose jump ball and passed to Parker.

Parker made the second of two free throws with 30 seconds to play. Harding had a chance to tie the score after getting fouled while making an underhanded layup with 11 seconds remaining, but missed the ensuing free throw.

Parker grabbed the rebound, got fouled by Harding, and made both free throws with 10.4 seconds left.

Harding added 19 points and six rebounds and Alana Beard had 10 points for the Mystics, who have lost four of five.

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