SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The Los Angeles Sparks couldn't find a way to stop Silver Stars veteran Jia Perkins on Friday night, even if a bat slowed her down temporarily.
Perkins scored 31 points and Becky Hammon had 22 points and nine assists to help San Antonio rally for a 90-80 overtime victory over the Sparks.
A bat flew to the court late in the fourth quarter, sending Perkins and teammates off the floor - and leading fans to chant ``Manu' in reference to Spurs guard Manu Ginobili catching a bat during a 2009 game at the AT&T Center.
This time, a referee provided the heroics, carrying the bat off, covered with two towels.
Hammon sent the game into overtime when she hit a 3-pointer with 33.4 seconds left in regulation for the Silver Stars (5-1), who held the Sparks scoreless the final 1:46 of the fourth quarter.
``We've been in those situations before,' Hammon said. ``You just want to stay calm. You don't really think about it. You're just so concentrated on what you're doing, it doesn't go through your mind, 'Oh, if I miss this shot, we're probably going to lose this game.''
Candace Parker had 25 points and 13 rebounds while DeLisha Milton-Jones scored 15 to lead the Sparks (4-2). The Sparks, who had won three straight, were playing the first of seven straight road games.
``We had the game,' Parker said. ``I think we just didn't execute defensively or offensively down the stretch. Coming off them tying it in regulation, I think we were still hung up on that. We weren't focused as much.'
The Sparks had 17 turnovers, including four in overtime. The Silver had 10 turnovers in the game.
Perkins, a reserve obtained over the offseason from Chicago, scored 15 second-quarter points.
``I just came into the game with the mindset that I was going to attack,' Perkins said. ``I just wanted to get my shot off or find teammates. Whatever it was, I just wanted to be aggressive. Early on, the shots started falling so it makes it more comfortable for you to keep shooting.'
Sophia Young scored 12 points and Ruth Riley had 11 for the Silver Stars. The Silver Stars lost their first game of the season Tuesday night.
Young and Hammon each scored six points in overtime for the Silver Stars. Young, the Silver Stars' leading scorer this season, was returning from a one-game absence.
The Silver Stars didn't score for nearly four minutes to start the fourth quarter, but Perkins' 3-pointer with 6:11 remaining brought them within seven before the bat interrupted play.
``Jia Perkins just had a marvelous game,' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. ``We rode her through most of the game.'
The Silver Stars held the Sparks to 39.7 percent shooting. In every Silver Stars' victory, they have held their opponents to under 50 percent shooting.
Noelle Quinn had 10 points for the Sparks.
The Associated Press News Service
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