Teasley scores 18 as Sparks roll

Nikki Teasley set a new career high with eighteen points in a 81-71 Sparks win over the Monarchs.

In a game where reigning MVP Lisa Leslie struggled to get rolling offensively, Nikki Teasley helped pick up the slack on the way to a new career-high scoring night for the rookie from North Carolina.

Sacramento guard Ticha Penicheiro, middle, looks for help between Los Angeles guard Nikki Teasley (l) and forward LaTasha Byears (r).
Los Angeles defeated Sacramento 81-71, maintaining their conference lead over Houston.

Leslie went one for nine from the field while Teasley nailed five of eight from behind the arc, ending up with 18 points.

"My teammates were telling me to take the shots because Ticha (Penicheiro) was playing off me,'' Teasley told the AP. "They got me the ball and helped me get shots.''

Teasley was aided by Mwadi Mabika, who had 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

The game, nationally televised, featured a half-time segment on Teasley and how she has overcome the challenges she faced in dealing with her depression. Speaking openly and sounding strong, Teasley seems to be thriving in Los Angeles, despite the pressure of being the starting point guard on the defending WNBA champions L.A. Sparks - a job she held from the moment she arrived in LA.

The Spark sit atop the Western conference standings with a 21-6 record and host Utah (18-9) Sunday night.

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