Nikki Teasley shows off her MVP hardware
Whether she's "Lady Magic", "Call her power steering - because she's got handling," or "she's dropping dimes like a bank teller," the ABC all-star WNBA games announcer was almost as excited as the crowd as Nikki Teasley put on a show, picking up most valuable player voters at the WNBA All-star game Saturday in New York City's Madison Square Garden.
The West defeated the East, 85-74 for the fifth straight time. The East has never won a WNBA all-star game.
Former Heel now LA Sparks point guard Teasley finished 10 points, six rebounds, five steals, five assists and no turnovers in 24 minutes of action for the West squad. She came up big in the game's final minutes including a three pointer with just over two minutes to play when the East rallied to cut the lead to three.
Teasley also gave the West the lead for good on a three point basket in the second half.
Whether it was dribbling between her legs followed by an around the back fake pass or threading an impossible pass in transition, Teasley was dazzling running the West offense and also picked up the Cascade Dish & Assist award.
"At the beginning I was just trying to make things happen, trying to entertain the fans and let them know that our game is not that basic anymore," said Teasley in a postgame chat on WNBA.
And she wasn't even an initial all-star selection. On Monday, Teasley was named an injury replacement for Houston's Cynthia Cooper, who had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff tendon on June 13.
|Spark and West All-star Coach Michael Cooper (left) and Nikki Teasley (right) help Lisa Leslie off the court.|
It was another Sparks star that looked to be a shoe-in for MVP honors as three-time MVP Lisa Leslie had 17 first half points. But early in the second half Swin Cash crashed hard into Leslie's right knee, knocking her out of the game. Leslie was later taken to Beth Israel Hospital for an MRI.
Teasley has helped lead the Sparks to the top of the Western Conference with a league-leading 13-3 record. She is averaging 9.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists (fourth in the WNBA) per game while hitting 44.3 percent of her three-pointers.
Yolanda Griffith of the Sacramento Monarchs had the 14 points and seven rebounds for the West. The East was led by Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever with 17 points.