BY SPNW Staff 10:00PM 08/18/2012

LA Sparks complete 5-game sweep of Storm

No Sue Bird. No Lauren Jackson. No Ann Wauters. And five minutes of Tina Thompson.

That adds up to no WNBA wins this season for the Storm over the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Sparks completed a five-game sweep with an 82-71 win Saturday night at Key Arena, in a game in which they led by as many as 16 points in the second half.

In their first game back from the Olympic break, the Sparks (16-6) won their sixth consecutive game behind the 22 points of Kristi Toliver. Alana Beard added 18, and rookie No. 1 draft choice Nneka Ogwumike had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Candace Parker, who was on the Olympic gold-winning team with Bird, added 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Bird sat out with the stomach flu, which struck her Thursday during the game against Phoenix. Wauters remains sidelined with a strained Achilles and Jackson has yet to return from Australia. Thompson was injured Thursday against the Mercury and came out after five minutes.

The Storm was led by Tanisha Wright’s 21 points. Rookie reserve Shekinna Stricklen added 16. At 10-11, Seattle is a step closer to being locked into the fourth and final Western conference playoff position.

Beard scored eight points in the third quarter to help the Sparks break open the game after leading 40-38 at halftime.


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