Candace Parker and her Sparks teammates lead West to All-Star win, 102-98

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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – A sellout crowd of 9,323 saw an entertaining, high-energy WNBA All-Star game dominated in the end by members of the Los Angeles Sparks.

Candace Parker earned the Most Valuable Player award with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. Kristi Toliver scored 21 points, and Nneka Ogwumike added six points and four rebounds.

Trailing 49-43 at the half, West coach Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx) went to her trio of Sparks together, and they responded, with Parker scoring 17 second half points, and Toliver 19 after the break.

Five West players finished in double figures, including three from the conference-leading Lynx. Maya Moore scored 14, Seimone had Augustus 11, while Rebekkah Brunson contributed a double-doub-le, with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Guards Epiphanny Prince (Chicago Sky) and Ivory Latta (Washington Mystics) led the East with 15 points each. Both Prince and Latta made four shots from three-point range. Late replacement player Erika de Souza of the Atlanta Dream contributed 13 points and eight rebounds. De Souza’s teammate Angel McCoughtry scored 11 points, and Connecticut’s Tina Charles scored 10 points. All eleven players from the Eastern conference scored.

While defense was not prominent in the first few periods, the fourth quarter saw some highlights on both ends of the court, as the game evolved into a more serious conclusion.

In the end, it was too much Parker, as her 10 fourth quarter points led a 28-17 run that iced the game for the West. The East’s Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty) had an attempt from three-point land when the West led 100-98, but the shot bounced away. Toliver sealed it for the West with two final foul shots.

In a touch of irony, the only player in the game that did not score, was Tina Thompson of the West, despite efforts to get her on the board by her teammates. Thompson broke the record by playing in her ninth all-star game. This is her final summer playing in the league as she will retire at the end of the season.

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