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The Sparks fall to the San Antonio Silver Stars, 86-77, in preseason play

May 8, 2010 |  5:36 pm

The Sparks were lacking a couple of key elements during their preseason game against the San Antonio Silver Stars on Saturday.

They were without star Candace Parker, and in the second half, they were without much defense.

As a result, the San Antonio Silver Stars won, 86-77, in front of a crowd of 1,521 at Cal State Long Beach Pyramid.

The teams were pretty evenly matched offensively. They were tied 43-all at halftime, and the Sparks converted 41.2% of their field goal attempts, compared to the Silver Stars' 40.3%

The difference in the game was fouls.

The Sparks committed 27 of them, and sent the Silver Stars to the free throw line 38 times.

"We were fouling a lot, which took away a lot of transition opportunities," said Parker, who cheered her team on from the bench because she arrived in Los Angeles last night after spending a week in Boston with her husband, Shelden Williams.

The Silver Stars played without Becky Hammon, Sophia Young and the team's first-round draft pick Jayne Appel.

Belinda Snell led all scorers with 17 points for the Silver Stars. The Sparks' DeLisha Milton-Jones had a team-high 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Marie Ferdinand-Harris scored 11 points and Noelle Quinn added 10, eight of which she scored in the second quarter.

First-year Sparks coach Jennifer Gillom was not discouraged by the outcome. A lot of the veteran players just recently returned from playing in Europe and have not had a chance to adjust to her new system.

"I'm not concerned," Gillom said. "The effort is what I'm concerned about, and you got that tonight."

The Sparks' first regular-season game is on Saturday at the Phoenix Mercury, which eliminated the Sparks from the playoffs last season in the Western Conference finals.

--Melissa Rohlin