Leslie made 11 of 17 shots and scored a season-high 31 points to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to a 73-60 victory
Tuesday night over the Phoenix Mercury.
Since the break for the Olympics, Leslie has averaged 26 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.5 blocks.
``Lisa turned up her play,'' Sparks co-coach Karleen Thompson said. ``She is playing very consistent and she
is being aggressive. She has a lot of energy which makes everyone around her better.''
Leslie was 9-of-12 from the free throw line and added seven rebounds for the WNBA's Western Conference champions,
who shot 47.5 percent. Nikki Teasley added 13 points and Mwadi Mabika 11 for the Sparks.
Phoenix, which shot just 38.3 percent, was led by Penny Taylor and Anna DeForge with 12 points each. Plenette
Pierson added 10 points for the Mercury, which holds a one-game lead over Sacramento in the race for the final Western Conference
Both teams have three games remaining.
The score was tied at 48 in the second half when Los Angeles used a 9-0 run to move ahead 57-48 with 8:51
``They are one of the only teams in the league that can get 10 or 12 points in the blink of an eye,'' Mercury
coach Carrie Graf said of the Sparks. ``They're the best team in the league in running and controlling momentum.''
Taylor was fouled while making a layup and converted the ensuing free throw to narrow the Mercury's deficit
to 57-51 with 8:31 left. But Leslie's hook shot and Mabika's fallaway jumper extended the Sparks' lead to 61-51 with 7:02
Los Angeles made 16 of 30 shots in the second half while Phoenix made only 10 of 31.
Diana Taurasi, Phoenix's highly regarded rookie, made only three of 12 shots and finished with seven points.
(Courtesy of CBS 4 Denver)