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Sparks still thrilled to call L.A. home open at Staples against Phoenix tonight

The WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks tipped off their season Friday night with an 80-69 win in Seattle over the Storm.

L.A. Sparks newcomer Candice Wiggins is banking on that million-dollar smile and her jump-shot to help bring L.A. a WNBA championship.
Eric Geller

The Sparks were led by defending league MVP Candace Parker who poured in 18 points. Alana Beard added 17 for L.A.

For a time, it looked as if the Sparks would be in Oakland or San Francisco after the previous ownership group had to let go of the franchise because the group couldn’t handle the financial burden any longer.

In stepped Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim Group – owners of the L.A. Dodgers – with a last minute reprieve buying the Sparks and keeping them where they belong – Los Angeles.

It’s been 12 years since the Sparks won the second of their back-to-back championships with Lisa Leslie at the helm.

Parker has this year’s team poised to win the Western Conference and play for another WNBA championship.

A little Magic is plenty of motivation.

Los Angeles has added some talent at the guard position including former Stanford University star and six-year WNBA veteran, Candice Wiggins who played for the Minnesota Lynx and the last season and a half with the Tulsa Shock.

To hear from Wiggins discussing the importance of the Sparks staying in L.A. and what she hopes to bring to the team on its quest for a championship, click on the video with this story.

The Sparks home-opener is tonight at Staples Center where Los Angeles will tip-off against Britney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury.

Griner had 19 points and 5 blocked shots last night leading Phoenix to its first win in the Mercury’s home-opener beating the Storm as well, 81-64.

Last season the Sparks were bumped from the conference semi-finals by Griner and the Mercury. Parker and the rest of the Sparks will look to exact a little revenge with tip-off set for 6pm PDT.