LOS ANGELES (AP) Celebrating a historic night in WNBA history, Los Angeles hosted the New York Liberty on the anniversary of their matchup in the league’s first game in 1997. The Sparks completed the festivities by getting a win this time.
DeLisha Milton-Jones scored 27 points and had a key late steal to help Los Angeles beat New York 96-91.
“You want to win on a night like tonight,” Sparks coach Jennifer Gillom said. “This was a 15-year celebration, and we wanted to celebrate.”
Candace Parker had 21 points and 13 rebounds to carry the Sparks (4-1) to their third straight win. Kristi Toliver had 16 points and Tina Thompson added 14 and a key block in the final minute.
“It’s important. It’s the birthday of our league,” Parker said. “I think a lot of people, when (the WNBA) started out, didn’t think it would make it to this point. That’s a testament to how great our pioneers of the game were.
“It’s a huge responsibility on us to make sure we have a 30th anniversary.”