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Sparks Lose a Big Lead, Game

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From Associated Press

Tina Thompson scored 24 points and Sheryl Swoopes had her first double-double of the season, leading the Houston Comets to a 75-71 victory over the Sparks. It was Los Angeles’ second loss in a row.

The Comets trailed by 13 points with 7:09 left when they went on a 15-2 run. They took their first lead on Thompson’s layup with 2:24 left.

“We just came out in the second half knowing that we had to be efficient on defense to get the job done,” Thompson said.

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“We were able to hit some tough shots and close it out in the end.”

Swoopes helped extend the lead by making a layup and two free throws with less than two minutes to play.

The Sparks got within three when Tamecka Dixon made a layup with 11 seconds left, but Michelle Snow made a free throw for the final margin.

Lisa Leslie had a team-high 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Sparks, her third double-double of the season.

The Sparks Mwadi Mabika had 14 points, but made only four of 15 shots.

“For us to be able to come back with three minutes to go and being down by nine and pull out a win, I think that says a lot about the character of this team and the talent of this team,” Swoopes said.

Los Angeles made only two shots in the final 5:22 and lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.

“I thought we played well in both halves, but we just had a bad lapse in the last five minutes of the game,” Leslie said. “We took some bad shots and committed some silly fouls that really hurt us. The momentum just switched from there.”

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After DeLisha Milton-Jones made a jump shot to make it 69-60 with 5:22 left, Kedra Holland-Corn started Houston’s decisive run by making four consecutive free throws.

The Comets, who ended the game with a 20-4 spurt, got six points down the stretch from Swoopes, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

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