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Sun can't cope with Comets

Front line proves too much to handle

Tina Thompson and Sheryl Swoopes each scored 17 points and Michelle Snow played solid defense inside to lead the Houston Comets to a 68-57 victory over the Sun last night in Uncasville, Conn.

The 6-foot-5-inch Snow had 11 points and eight rebounds for Houston and her broad wingspan made it tough for any Connecticut player trying to drive the lane.

Katie Douglas led the Sun with 21 points, going 6 of 8 from 3-point range. Nykesha Sales and Asjha Jones each added 14 points for Connecticut.

Houston outrebounded the Sun, 38-33, and had a 26-18 edge in scoring in the paint.

Leading by 4 points at halftime, the Comets blew it open early in the second half with a 16-2 run fueled by 8 points from Swoopes.

Thompson was coming off a career-high 35 points in Houston's 68-62 loss to New York Sunday. She hit a 3-pointer with 14 minutes left in the first half to start a 7-0 run and give the Comets a 22-10 lead, their largest of the half.

She and Swoopes combined for 17 points in the first half. Sales had 9 points in the final six minutes and the Sun closed within 4 twice down the stretch and trailed, 35-31, at halftime.

Swoopes was wide open when she hit consecutive 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the second half to start the decisive run and the Comets went on to lead by as many as 18 points. The Sun would get no closer than 7 the rest of the way.

In her first start as a pro, Sun rookie guard Lindsay Whalen was held scoreless but finished with five assists.

Sparks 95, Mystics 79 -- Mwadi Mabika and DeLisha Milton-Jones scored 20 points apiece, and visiting Los Angeles rebounded from an opening-game blowout loss. Mabika scored 6 points in a 14-4 run to open the second half, putting the Sparks in control. They built a 28-point lead and dominated inside, with Mabika, Milton-Jones, Lisa Leslie, and reserve Tamika Whitmore accounting for 68 of the team's points.

The Sparks dropped their opening game by 26 at Seattle, but they improved by taking care of the ball, with just nine turnovers after committing 18 against the Storm.

Chamique Holdsclaw had 29 points and 10 rebounds to lead Washington.

Leslie was unstoppable early as the Sparks raced to a 21-10 lead, but the veteran center was rattled by an emphatic block by Aiysha Smith, picked up three quick fouls and didn't score in the final 13 minutes of the half. The Mystics took their first lead after a 13-1 run, but Whitmore led the Sparks to a double-digit lead late in the first half.

Holdsclaw kept the Mystics close with 19 first-half points, including a 29-foot, 3-point runner at the first-half buzzer to cut the deficit to 49-42.

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