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Sparks clinch playoff berth

September 6, 2008 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Houston Comets News Release

HOUSTON (AP) - DeLisha Milton-Jones had 16 points and seven rebounds to help the Los Angeles Sparks clinch a playoff berth with an 84-66 win over the slumping Houston Comets on Saturday night. Candace Parker scored 12 points, Lisa Leslie added 11 and Temeka Johnson 10 for the Sparks (19-13), who rebounded from a loss at San Antonio the previous night that snapped a four-game winning streak. Los Angeles is in third in the Western Conference, two games behind the Silver Stars and Seattle. Tina Thompson scored a game-high 18 points, and Shannon Johnson added 11 for Houston (14-16), which lost its fourth straight since returning from the league's month-long Olympic break. Michelle Snow had nine points and Sancho Lyttle scored eight as the Comets dropped into sixth-place tie with defending champion Phoenix - two games behind fourth-place Sacramento. Lyttle left the game with 2:07 to play with an undisclosed injury. After trailing by 13 in the second quarter, Houston pulled to 53-46 on Thompson's 10-foot jumper with about 4 minutes left in the third. The Sparks scored the next six points to restore their double-digit lead. Los Angeles raced out to a 21-11 lead after the first quarter, scoring 13 points off 11 Houston turnovers. The Sparks increased the advantage to 33-20 on Ferdinand-Harris' field goal with 6:22 left in the second quarter. The Comets had an 11-5 run to pull within seven with about 1:50 left in the half, and trailed 42-34 at the break.

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