Sparks hold on to win close game against Sun

Kristi Toliver scored nine of her 19 points in the final quarter and pulled down nine rebounds to carry the Los Angeles Sparks to a 74-72 win against the Connecticut Sun.

Nneka Ogwumike contributed 15 points, while Jantel Lavender scored 14 for the Sparks, who won their second game in a row on the road.

Eastern Conference Player of the Week Tina Charles led the game in points with 25 and boards with 13. Her double-double was not enough for the Sun, who remain in the basement of the East with a record of 6-13. Renee Montgomery had 13 points and Allison Hightower scored 12 for Connecticut, which had won its previous two games.

The Sun outscored the Sparks in the second half 36-31, but failed to complete the comeback. They were behind 69-59 with 4:14 left, but got within one a few times.

Montgomery's 3-pointer had it at 69-68 with 2:05 left, but her potential 3- point shot was off the mark in the final minute. Montgomery's layup cut the margin to 73-72 with 5.6 seconds left, and Toliver went 1-of-2 at the foul line with 2.8 seconds to go.

Montgomery missed a 3-point shot at the buzzer.

The Sparks were without their All-Star forward Candace Parker who missed her third consecutive game with a wrist injury.