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Sparks improve to 5-0 for best start since 2003

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Candace Parker scored 22 points, including two free throws with 7.8 seconds remaining, to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Connecticut Sun 77-72 on Thursday night.

Nneka Ogwumike had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Jantel Lavender scored eight of her 11 points in the second half for the Sparks (5-0), who finished a four-game, 10-day road swing.

Los Angeles, second in the AP WNBA power poll, is off to its best start since opening the 2003 season 9-0.

Jasmine Thomas scored 17 points and Alex Bentley added 14 for 11th-ranked Connecticut (1-3).

The Sun pulled to 73-69 with 1:34 left, but Parker answered with a left-handed hook shot in the lane as the shot clock was winding down.

After Alyssa Thomas made 1 of 2 free throws with 24.7 seconds left to pull Connecticut to 75-72, Jasmine Thomas grabbed the long offensive rebound but she missed a 3-pointer and Parker sealed it at the line.