Tina Thompson does it again -- player of the week for the West
For the second week in a row, the Sparks' Tina Thompson was named the WNBA’s Western Conference player of the week on Monday for her remarkable play in the final three games of the regular season -- against the Phoenix Mercury, the Minnesota Lynx and the Seattle Storm.
In those games, Thompson led the league in scoring, averaging 26.3 points, and helped L.A. get past Minnesota for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West. Although the Sparks dropped the other two games, Thompson excelled in all three, including a dominant 33-point effort in a six-point loss to the Mercury.
The former USC star, who won four WNBA championships while with the now-defunct Houston Comets, is the only player remaining in the WNBA from its inaugural season in 1997. On Aug. 8, Thompson surpassed Lisa Leslie’s all-time scoring record of 6,263 points and now has 6,413 points for her career.
Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty won the weekly honor for the Eastern Conference, the second in a row for her as well. She ranked second in the league in scoring, averaging 22.0 points while leading the Liberty to a 3-1 record. She also led her team in steals (1.5 per game) and tied Leilani Mitchell for the team lead in assists (4.8).
The Sparks take on the Storm on Wednesday night in Seattle in Game 1 of the WNBA semifinals. Pondexter's team hosts the Indiana Fever on Thursday.
-- Debbie Goffa