No. 1 Houston Comets (26-6) vs. No. 2 Los Angeles Sparks (20-12)

Schedule: Game 1 -- Tonight, at Los Angeles, 8:30 (ESPN); Game 2 -- Sunday, at Houston, 4 p.m. (NBC); Game 3 (if necessary) -- Monday, at Houston, 10 p.m. (ESPN).

Season record: Tied, 2-2.

Key Players: Houston -- G Cynthia Cooper (22.1 ppg, 5.2 apg), F Sheryl Swoopes (18.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4 apg), F Tina Thompson (12.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg). Los Angeles -- C Lisa Leslie (15.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg), F DeLisha Milton (9.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg), G Mwadi Mabika (10.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.5 apg).

Data: The Comets enter the playoffs emotionally spent after the death of point guard Kim Perrot. Perrot, who helped lead Houston to back-to-back WNBA titles, died Aug. 19 of lung and brain cancer. After her death, the Comets lost at Los Angeles, 68-64, while playing without Cooper, Perrot's close friend who chose to sit out the game. The Sparks are the only team to beat Houston twice this season, both wins coming on their home court. Los Angeles lost only three home games this season, but finished under .500 on the road (8-9). Houston lost only once on its home court. Los Angeles is making its first WNBA playoff appearance. The Sparks' toughest task will be stopping Swoopes, who averaged almost 23 points against them this season.