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Sparks Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker to be named on WNBA's All-Second team

September 23, 2009 | 11:56 am


Sparks center Lisa Leslie and forward Candace Parker are expected to be named to the WNBA's All-Second team, an announcement that will be made official today around 1 p.m. PST.

The Sparks, which host the Phoenix Mercury in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals tonight at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, will face two players who are expected to be named to the league's All-First team, including forward Diana Taurasi and guard Cappie Pondexter. Taurasi was second in the league in scoring (20.4 points per game), and Pondexter wasn't too far behind with a fifth-best 19.1 points per game.

Leslie, a three-time MVP, and Parker, last year's league MVP and rookie of the year, returned to true form after missing a significant number of games.

Leslie missed 11 games because of a sprained right knee but has averaged 15.4 points per game and has been a catalyst for the Sparks' turnaround during her last season in her storied 13-year WNBA career.

Parker missed the team's first eight games while on maternity leave but has since posted a league-leading 15 double doubles, a league-leading 9.8 rebounds per game and 13.1 points per contest.

-- Mark Medina

Photo: Candace Parker tries to prevent an errant pass from going out of bounds during the Sparks' playoff victory over the Seattle Storm on Sunday. Credit: Elaine Thompson / Associated Press