Los Angeles held the Minnesota Lynx to one basket in the game's final 11 minutes 37 seconds and Lisa Leslie scored 29 points as the Sparks won, 77-59, last night in Minneapolis.

The Sparks led 57-56 when Minnesota went dry. The Lynx didn't score again until Trish Fallon hit a three-pointer with 1:16 left. By that time, Los Angeles had scored 16 straight points to put the game away. It was a bitter loss for the Lynx, who came into the game trailing Sacramento by two games for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

COMETS 81, STING 51: Cynthia Cooper scored 25 points and added five assists as Houston clinched a spot in the playoffs with the home victory. Cooper scored 17 points during a season-best 26-0 run in the first for Houston (21-4).

MERCURY 68, LIBERTY 55: Maria Stepanova had 11 points and 10 rebounds for her first career double-double to lead Phoenix. Jennifer Gillom added 15 points for the Mercury (11-13), who have won four of their last five and improved to 8-3 at home.

MONARCHS 71, SHOCK 58: Ticha Penicheiro had 15 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists to lead Sacramento. Kedra Holland-Corn scored 10 of her 15 points in the second half as the Monarchs improved to 8-3 at home this season.