Beard scores 26 to lead Mystics past Sparks

Courtesy of the Associated Press | 7/12/2009, 8:16 p.m.

Alana Beard scored 26 points as the Washington Mystics closed the game on a 12-0 run after allowing a 24-point first-half lead slip away to defeat the Los Angeles Sparks 75-63 on Saturday July 11.

Chasity Melvin added 14 points for the Mystics (6-5), who started a season-high six-game homestand.

Shannon Bobbit and Betty Lennox each scored 10 points to lead the Sparks (4-7), who fell to 1-6 on the road this season.
Los Angeles was without All-Star Lisa Leslie for the sixth straight game. Candace Parker, playing in her third game after missing much of the season following childbirth, was held to two points.

The Mystics dominated early as Beard scored Washington's first 13 points.

Washington led 34-10 in the second quarter, but Los Angeles chipped away at the lead and tied it at 63. Lindsey Harding's jumper with 3:08 remaining put the Mystics ahead for good and Melvin scored the next four points, and eight in the final quarter.

Los Angeles missed 11 of its first 12 shots and scored only two points in the opening 8:25.

Harding scored 11 points for the Mystics, who were coming off a 1-3 road trip.