LOS ANGELES – Candace Parker, the former two-time league MVP, is becoming a force in the WNBA again.
The 6-4 forward had 18 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals in her first home game as the Los Angeles Sparks drubbed the Lynx 83-61 Tuesday night at the Staples Center.
After taking the first half of the season off to rest, Parker made her debut against the Lynx last Wednesday in a 82-76 loss at Target Center. Los Angeles (6-14) has won three in a row since.
The Lynx (15-5) had won three consecutive games and were a Western Conference-best 7-2 on the road. But they fell behind 24-21 in the first quarter. The Sparks’ lead grew to four at halftime and nine after three quarters.
“It was a seven-point game in the fourth quarter with about eight minutes to go,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said, “and we had the ball and we played terrible. We don’t underestimate them.”
Maya Moore, named the conference’s player of the month for July, scored only 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting. She had scored 20 points or more in 11 consecutive games, tying Cynthia Cooper of the Houston Comets for the second-longest such streak in WNBA history. Diana Taurasi of Phoenix holds the single-season record of 12.
Moore averaged 25.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists in nine games last month. She shot 41.9 percent on three-pointers and made a league-high 26.
She started strong in this game, too. Moore had 11 of the Lynx’s 21 first-quarter points, but scored just two in the second and did not attempt a shot in the third. She missed three field goals in seven minutes of the fourth. She was 1-for-7 overall on three-pointers.
“We didn’t have a lot of good flow that we usually play with,” Moore said. “We turned the ball over, and sparked their transition, and settle early for some quick shots. It was just a struggle to get into our offense. We weren’t able to get some of our passes.”
Besides Moore, the only other Lynx player in double figures was Lindsay Whalen with 13.
Los Angeles had a season-high 12 steals, while the Lynx had only three after getting 14 last week against the Sparks.
• Former Gophers forward Shae Kelley signed a second seven-day contract with the Lynx.