Sparks down Silver Stars to advance to Western Conference Finals

Candace Parker exploded for 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists and the Los Angeles Sparks held off San Antonio, 101-94, Saturday, to eliminate the Silver Stars in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Sparks, who took Game 1 at home Thursday in the best-of-three series, advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they will play the winner of a semifinal matchup between the Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm. The Lynx lead that series 1-0, with Game 2 set for Sunday.

Kristi Toliver chipped in 23 points, Alana Beard contributed 17 points for Los Angeles, and DeLisha Milton-Jones added 10 points and five boards.

Sophia Young had a team-high 28 points and six rebounds and Jia Perkins contributed 16 points off the bench for the Silver Stars, who lost in the semifinals for the fourth straight season.

The Sparks jumped out to a sizeable lead early, going into the half up 51-40, before taking a 22-point lead during third and starting the fourth up 16.

But the Silver Stars clawed their way back, outscoring Los Angeles in the fourth quarter 28-19 to make it a contest.

Hitting four three pointers in the quarter, the Silver Stars got to within two points with 4:06 to play, and tied the game at 90 on a pair of free throws from Shameka Christon with 3:14 to play.

But Parker carried her team down the stretch, scoring seven of the Sparks' final nine points in the final 1:44 of the game to lock up the series victory.