* Records: Los Angeles (25-9), Sacramento (18-16).

* Schedule: Game 1, tonight at Sacramento, 10:30 p.m.; Game 2, Sunday at Los Angeles, 4 p.m.; Game 3, if necessary, Tuesday at Los Angeles, 10 p.m.

* Coaches: Los Angeles, Karleen Thompson (11-3 since taking over for Michael Cooper, who left midseason to become an assistant with the Denver Nuggets). Sacramento, John Whisenant (30-20, .600).

* Regular Season Meetings: 2-2.

* What to look for: The steamrolling Sparks faced some of their toughest games this season against the Monarchs. Los Angeles owned winning records against every Western Conference club except Sacramento. Monarchs forward Yolanda Griffith and guard Ticha Penicheiro, the WNBA all-time assists leader, have been headaches for the Sparks.

But Los Angeles has center Lisa Leslie, still one of the league's most dominant players after eight seasons, who averaged 17.6 points and 9.9 rebounds this season.

* Key Players: Sacramento: Griffith (14.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg), F-C Tangela Smith (11.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and G Penicheiro (6.0 ppg, 4.9 apg). Los Angeles: Leslie, F Mwadi Mabika (14.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg), G Nikki Teasley (9.9 ppg, 3.9 apg), G Tamecka Dixon (9.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.5 apg).