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SPARKS DROP FOURTH STRAIGHT : WASHINGTON 55, SPARKS 53.

Byline: Associated Press

Murriel Page's layup with 3.9 seconds left gave the Washington Mystics a 55-53 victory over the Sparks on Saturday, sending them to their fourth straight loss and preventing them from clinching a playoff spot.

Before a national TV audience, the Sparks (17-11) led 17-16 at halftime in the lowest-scoring first half in WNBA history.

They trailed by five points with 2:20 left but tied the game at 53 on a 3-pointer by point guard Gordana Grubin with 23 seconds to go.

Washington inbounded the ball to point guard Andrea Nagy who dribbled time off the clock and then drove to the basket. Nagy's bounce pass found Page, who scored her second field goal of the game. After a timeout, the Sparks' Tamecka Dixon missed a 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

DeLisha Milton had 13 points to lead the Sparks; Lisa Leslie and La'Keshia Frett had 12 each. Leslie fouled out with 3:23 to play and Washington ahead 49-45.

Washington (12-17), which won its sixth straight game, entered the game one game behind Detroit for the third and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Nikki McCray had 20 points for Washington.

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PHOTO Sparks guard Tamecka Dixon shoots in front of Nikki McCray.

Linda Spillers/Associated Press
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 15, 1999
Words:215
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