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LA Sparks win top pick in lottery

NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Sparks have beaten the odds to win the top pick in the 2012 WNBA draft.

The Sparks had the smallest chance of the four teams with a shot at winning Thursday's draft lottery, with only 104 out of 1,000 chances. They are the second team in the 11-year history of the lottery to win with the fewest number of chances. Phoenix did it ahead of the 2007 draft.

"There are some excellent players in the 2012 Draft class, and we are very excited to get the No. 1 pick and have the opportunity to add a very talented player to the Sparks roster," Sparks vice president and general manager Penny Toler said in a release.

Los Angeles also had the top pick in 2008 and selected Tennessee star Candace Parker, who went on to win rookie of the year and MVP honors in her first professional season.

The Chicago Sky will pick second, followed by the Minnesota Lynx at No. 3 and the Tulsa Shock -- who had the best chance of winning -- at No. 4.

After the first four picks, the remainder of the draft will be ordered based on the 2010 regular-season records for each team.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.