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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sparks defeat hobbled Storm in opener

Lisa Leslie of the Sparks knocks the ball away from Storm’s Camille Little.   (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Lisa Leslie of the Sparks knocks the ball away from Storm’s Camille Little. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

Tina Thompson hit a key 3-pointer with 5:44 remaining and the Los Angeles Sparks went on to a 70-63 victory over the Seattle Storm in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series in Los Angeles Wednesday night.

Thompson led the third-seeded Sparks with 16 points. Lisa Leslie added 14 points and 10 rebounds in what might have been the final home game of her storied career before she retires at season’s end. Candace Parker had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Swin Cash led the second-seeded Storm with 24 points after missing the final two regular-season games because of her grandmother’s death.

Sue Bird was held to four points after missing the final three games of the regular season because of a sore neck. The Storm were without All-Star Lauren Jackson, who is out indefinitely because of a stress fracture in her lower back.

Game 2 in the best-of-3 series is Friday in Seattle.

Shock 94, Dream 89: Deanna Nolan scored 25 points and Kara Braxton added 16 as host Detroit rallied for a victory over Atlanta in the opener of Eastern Conference first-round series. The defending champs, who trailed by 13 points midway through the third quarter, dominated the final 15 minutes to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 series.

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