Never a smoother transition

PHOENIX (AP) -- Candace Parker scored 34 points, the most ever in a WNBA debut, and added 12 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat the defending champion Phoenix Mercury 99-94 on Saturday.
The previous high in a WNBA debut was 25 points by Cynthia Cooper in 1997.

The game was tied at 79 early in the fourth quarter when Parker, who led Tennessee to back-to-back NCAA titles, took over. She scored 10 straight points to give the Sparks an 89-86 lead with 3:15 to play.

Parker, who made 6-of-7 shots in the final quarter, hit a short hook shot to put the Sparks up 97-94 with 12 seconds to go.

Parker wore a brace on her left shoulder, which she dislocated during the NCAA Tournament. It didn't slow her one bit.

Parker came within two assists of becoming the first WNBA rookie to record a triple-double. Only one NBA player did it in his debut -- Oscar Robertson, in 1960.


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