Sparks beaten at home

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS -

The Sparks blew a 10-point half­time lead Sun­day and lost their home opener, 60-54, to the Seat­tle Storm at Sta­ples Cen­ter.

Abby Bishop scored 13 of her ca­reer-high 18 points in the sec­ond half for Seat­tle. She scored con­sec­u­tive bas­kets to put the Storm (2-2) up, 53-50, with 4 min­utes 18 sec­onds left in the game — its first lead since the open­ing min­utes.

Jewell Loyd added Seat­tle’s fi­nal six points and fin­ished four for 10 from the field af­ter en­ter­ing the game av­er­ag­ing 5.0 points on five-for-31 shoot­ing.

Jan­tel Laven­der led the Sparks (0-2) with 12 points and nine re­bounds. Erin Phillips and Alana Beard each added 10 points.

The Sparks led, 34-24, at half­time and 46-42 af­ter three pe­ri­ods, but man­aged only eight points in the fourth.

They were again with­out Can­dace Parker, Kristi To­liver and Nneka Og­wu­mike, who all missed the sea­son-open­ing 86-61 loss at Seat­tle on June 6. win over Gael Mon­fils, ended the first set tiebreaker with an ace — his ninth. Nadal saved the only break point he faced.

Play­ing with ev­i­dent con­fi­dence against the eighth-seeded Troicki, Nadal con­verted his first op­por­tu­nity to go 3-1 up in the sec­ond set and he served out the win in 1 hour 27 min­utes.

“I’m re­ally, re­ally happy. It’s my sec­ond win this year and it gives me a lot of con­fi­dence,” said Nadal, af­ter his 66th ca­reer victory and fourth on grass.

French­man Ni­co­las Mahut won his third ca­reer ti­tle af­ter beat­ing sec­ond-seeded David Gof­fin, 7-6 (1), 6-1, at the Top­shelf Open, while fifth-seeded Camila Giorgi of Italy won the women’s fi­nal in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Nether­lands. Giorgi clinched her first ca­reer ti­tle with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Swiss teenager Belinda Ben­cic.

Ney­mar scored a goal and set up the in­jury-time win­ner by Dou­glas Costa, help­ing Brazil open its Copa Amer­ica par­tic­i­pa­tion with a 2-1 win over Peru in Te­muco, Chile.

Costa found the net from close range af­ter re­ceiv­ing a per­fect pass from Ney­mar two min­utes into sec­ond-half in­jury time, calmly send­ing a low shot past the Peru­vian goal­keeper.

Peru sur­prised early with a goal by mid­fielder Chris­tian Cueva less than three min­utes into the match af­ter Brazil goal­keeper Jef­fer­son made a mis­take try­ing to clear the ball in­side the area. Ney­mar equal­ized two min­utes later with a header from near the penalty spot.

Colom­bia got off to a dis­ap­point­ing start in the Copa Amer­ica, los­ing, 1-0, to Venezuela in Rancagua, Chile. Salomon Ron­don, Venezuela’s big­gest threat in the match, headed the win­ner past keeper David Ospina and into the far cor­ner in the 60th minute.

Wayne Rooney closed to within one goal of Eng­land’s all­time scor­ing record, while Vi­cente del Bosque reached his 100th game in charge of Spain with a victory in Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship qual­i­fy­ing.

Rooney moved to the brink of match­ing Bobby Charl­ton’s Eng­land scor­ing mile­stone of 49 goals by clinch­ing a 3-2 victory over host Slove­nia.

In Be­larus, David Silva gave Spain a harder-than-ex­pected 1-0 win to en­sure Del Bosque could cel­e­brate his 100th match in charge of the two-time de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons.

Slo­vakia re­mained with Eng­land as the only sides to have won all six group qual­i­fiers af­ter beat­ing vis­it­ing Mace­do­nia, 2-1, to stay top of Group C, three points ahead of Spain.

Rus­sia, mean­while, slumped to a 1-0 home loss to Aus­tria and has an up­hill climb to earn au­to­matic qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the 2016 fi­nals in France as one of the top two teams in each group.



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