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Sparks 84, Silver Stars 48

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Sparks weren't going to have another second-half letdown, especially at home against an injury-depleted team.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 16 points, Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver added 13 points and six assists apiece, and the Los Angeles Sparks routed the San Antonio Silver Stars 84-48 on Saturday night.

Jantel Lavender scored 14 points in a reserve role and Ogwumike also had seven rebounds for the Sparks (3-2), who bounced back from a 16-point loss Friday night in Phoenix. Los Angeles allowed 49 second-half points in that game but held San Antonio to 20 after the break one night later.

``It was very important to come out intense (in the second half),'' Parker said. ``But it's not this game - it's the next game that's going to tell us if this is a trend or if this is just a one-game thing. So right now you're just trying to figure out which team is going to show up - the team from Phoenix or the team from tonight. So we just have to make sure it's a positive trend, for sure.''

Danielle Adams had 12 points and Shenise Johnson added 11 for the Silver Stars (2-4), who are seeking their first road victory after going winless on a three-game trip.

San Antonio played without leading rebounder Jayne Appel. The Silver Stars are also without Becky Hammon until July because of a broken finger and Sophia Young was lost for the year because of an ACL tear during the offseason.

The Sparks were missing point guard Lindsey Harding because of a right eye contusion suffered in Friday's game, but they still managed 23 assists on 36 field goals and shot 59 percent from the field.

Los Angeles blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring San Antonio 26-8.

Parker scored nine in the third, including consecutive baskets on a 3-pointer and a runner in the paint while being fouled. She converted a finger roll for a 55-34 lead and Toliver sank a jumper to push it to 61-36 entering the fourth.

The Sparks outscored the Silver Stars 46-20 in the paint and turned San Antonio's season-worst 25 turnovers into 27 points.

``When you're turning the ball over to a team that loves to run and they have the players to run, then we're sitting ducks,'' DeLisha Milton-Jones said. ``Tonight we gave them ample opportunities in transition and even in the secondary or set plays to capitalize off of our mistakes.''

Milton-Jones played in Los Angeles for the first time since she signed with San Antonio in March. She spent 11 of her previous 14 seasons with the Sparks.

Ogwumike scored 12 points and Toliver had nine to lead the Sparks to a 35-28 halftime lead. Toliver made a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper before she fed Ogwumike for a left-handed runner that Ogwumike converted as she was fouled for a 31-20 lead.

San Antonio shot 31 percent and committed 13 turnovers in the first half, but Adams made three baskets inside in the final minutes to help close the deficit.

The Silver Stars went nearly seven minutes without making a field goal to start the game and faced a 12-1 deficit before they closed the first quarter on a 14-6 run. Johnson scored eight points in the first quarter, including a 3-pointer for San Antonio's first field goal.

``Today was an indication of how good we can be if we come out focused and aggressive - at the start of the game and the start of the third quarter,'' said Alana Beard, who returned to the lineup from a hamstring injury and scored six points on 3-for-4 shooting for Los Angeles. ``Being that Lindsey was out that kind of made it a hundred percent go for me,'' Beard said. ``I felt like I had to be out there for the team.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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