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Heavy home fave Sparks win, Shock cover

LOS ANGELES (AP) - It seemed fitting that Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike were among the last remaining players in the Los Angeles Sparks' locker room.

Parker needed rest after she played more than 46 minutes and Ogwumike needed attention for a cut above her left eye. Both were instrumental in the Sparks' hard-earned 90-88 comeback victory in double-overtime against the Tulsa Shock on Sunday.

Parker, who finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, drove pat Tiffany Jackson-Jones from the right side for the winning basket with 5.7 seconds remaining in the second extra period. Tulsa's Riquna Williams watched a 23-foot jumper rim out and Ogwumike rebounded the miss as time expired.

The Sparks (19-8) erased a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter and moved one game behind Minnesota for first place in the Western Conference. Ogwumike finished with 21 points.

Parker ranked it among the longest games of her WNBA career.

``Just find it, wherever you have it, just find it,'' Parker said. ``And the team that was the toughest is probably going to win because everybody's tired and everybody's legs are dead. That's kind of what we did.''

Tulsa center and leading scorer Liz Cambage left the game with a left ankle sprain with 6:35 remaining in regulation and did not return. Candice Wiggins led the Shock (9-19) with 20 points and Williams added 17.

Cambage said she rolled the same ankle that she injured earlier this season.

``It's just really frustrating to do this again,'' said Cambage, who had eight points and a game-high 14 rebounds in just over 21 minutes.

``I don't think it's bad at all. I've never had an ankle injury before (this season), but I need proper rehab.''

Ogwumike, who was accidentally struck by Parker in the celebration after a foul by Williams in the first overtime, scored six straight baskets late in the second OT to give the Sparks an 88-83 lead with a minute remaining. Williams responded with a 3-pointer and a drive to tie it before Los Angeles got the ball to Parker for the winner.

Parker scored 11 points with four assists and Ogwumike had eight points in the fourth quarter and the two combined for 10 points in the second overtime.

``They're warriors,'' Sparks coach Carol Ross said. ``I thought Candace took a big leadership role. I thought her passion to win was exceptional, and Nneka kind of slept walk a little bit through the game, and then all of a sudden she caught fire.''

Wiggins forced the second overtime on a 3 with 7.9 seconds remaining in the first extra session to deflate the home crowd. Los Angeles appeared headed for victory when Parker gave it a 77-72 lead but Williams came back with a 3, and Alana Beard missed her second free throw to leave the door open for Tulsa. Two of Williams' three 3s were in the second overtime, and she had a good look at the end.

``It feels like we won this game, honestly,'' Wiggins said. ``It really does. That ball went in and out. I thought it was going in. I thought it was going to be a shocker. But the ball didn't roll in. I'm so proud of us - how we fought. Two overtimes against a really tough team. They're right there in the playoff hunt. We battled, but it's sad.

``But again, I don't feel sad, because I'm really proud of how we played.''

The Sparks entered the fourth quarter down, 58-39, but outscored the Shock 29-10 in the period, including runs of 14-2 and 13-2 as Tulsa could no longer curb Los Angeles' transition game and committed seven turnovers in the final 20 minutes.

``We had high turnovers,'' Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg said. ``That was the problem for us. I thought we turned the ball over too much. It turned into 26 points for them, so that's a big factor. We wanted to keep our turnovers around 10, and we didn't do that tonight.''

Lindsey Harding made two free throws with 1:01 left to complete the comeback at 66-all, and Parker scored on a drive with 30 seconds remaining. Skylar Diggins made free throws to tie it again before Parker missed a potential game-winning jumper in the final seconds of regulation.

It was the third-largest comeback in Sparks' history.

Asked about a roller-coaster game, Ross said, ``For a long time it didn't look like a roller coaster because I didn't see us coming back up. We had a very animated, energized changing of the quarters between the third and fourth quarter. There was a desire to find a way to fight our way back into it.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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