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Visiting Sparks pound Mystics, 'under' hits

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lindsey Harding had 11 points and a career-high 14 assists to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to a 75-57 victory over the Washington Mystics on Sunday.

Nneka Ogwumike added 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Sparks (13-7) in her sixth double-double of the season. Jantel Lavender scored 13 points, Marissa Coleman 11 and Ebony Hoffman 10.

Harding came within two assists of the league's all-time record of 16, set twice by Ticha Penicheiro. Harding's previous best was 10 (twice), and she had five previous eight-assist games this season.

Los Angeles won the first of four straight road games against Eastern Conference opponents despite missing team leading scorer and rebounder Candace Parker with a wrist injury for the second straight game.

Crystal Langhorne scored 23 points for the Mystics (9-12), who lost their third straight game and fifth in their last six. The Mystics failed to score 60 points for the second time in that six-game stretch, and their 15 turnovers marked a sixth straight game with at least 10.

The Sparks led by seven at halftime and pulled away thanks to a 19-2 run keyed by Harding that stretched across parts of the third and fourth quarters.

Harding hit two 3-pointers in the run and converted a three-point play on a leaner and foul shot to make it 62-39 opening the fourth.

She then found Ogwumike on an inside feed to make 64-39 and cap the stretch, Harding's fourth assist during the game-sealing run.

Washington wouldn't close within 20 until Langhorne hit a late 3-pointer for the game's final field goal.

Los Angeles took a 33-26 lead into halftime after a first half filled with runs.

The Sparks rattled off a 21-2 run that made it 23-11 early in the second quarter before Washington responded with an 8-0 run and eventually closed to within 27-25 on Langhorne's leaner.

However, Ogwumike hit two more inside baskets - both on feeds from Harding - to give the Sparks their seven-point lead at the break.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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