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Third quarter spells trouble for Sparks

Associated Press

Jia Perkins scored 18 points and the slumping Chicago Sky beat the Sparks, 75-63, on Wednesday night.

The Sky (9-10) ended a two-game losing streak as four players scored in double figures in front of a crowd of 5,633.

The Sparks (5-10) lost for the fourth time in five games despite 15 points from Delisha Milton-Jones. Tina Thompson scored 13 and reserve Betty Lennox had 10.

The Sky built a double-digit lead in the third quarter and was ahead, 58-48, heading into the final period.

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Los Angeles never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.

The game was the first of the season in Chicago for Sparks starter and local favorite Candace Parker, a two-time state champion and national prep basketball player of the year while at suburban Naperville Central High School.

Parker, playing in her seventh game after returning from maternity leave in early July, scored nine points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

“It’s going to be a process coming back,” Parker said. “Obviously, I’m nowhere near what I was last year. Basketball is so mental, and when you’re used to doing some things you have that swagger about you. Some of that’s gone and I’ve got to get it back, but it will eventually come.”

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