Parker dunks in Sparks’ win over Fever

6-23-08 -- Candace Parker became the second woman to dunk in a WNBA game and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Indiana Fever 77-63 on Sunday night.

Parker took a pass from Raffaella Masciadri, dribbled the length of the court and dunked with her right hand with 29 seconds to play.

“When I caught the ball and there was an open lane, it was a good opportunity,” Parker said. “I’m happy that I was able to do it in Los Angeles in front of the home fans.”

Lisa Leslie, her Sparks teammate, is the only other WNBA player to do it— throwing a shot down during a game in 2002.

“Obviously, it means a lot having the first person to do it on my team,” Parker said. “There’s going to be more to come in the league itself.”

Parker finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and four assists. Leslie added 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

DeLisha Milton-Jones and Temeka Johnson had 10 points apiece for the Sparks (9-3), who have won five of six.

Tamika Catchings scored 17 points in her first start of the season for the Fever (6-6), who lost for the third time in four games. Katie Douglas had 11 points and tied her career high with five steals.

Catchings, who missed the first eight games due to a torn Achilles’ tendon, also made three steals to move into fourth place on the WNBA career list.

“I really felt good,” Catchings said. “Right now, it’s more lateral movement (that is a problem). The tendon gets tight a lot, but I’m getting better and better.”

The Fever narrowed their deficit to 25-23 on LaToya Bond’s 3-point basket with 6:44 left in the first half. But the Sparks used with a 14-6 surge to build a 39-26 halftime lead.

Leslie, Johnson and Sidney Spencer each had four points in the run. Indiana scored just one point in a span of 3:54 and failed to score in the final 2:50 of the first half.

The Fever shot a season-low 27.6 percent but scored 22 points off 24 Los Angeles turnovers.


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