UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) – Sheryl Swoopes made sure the West stayed a perfect 6-0 in the highest-scoring All-Star game in WNBA history on Saturday.

Swoopes, the game’s MVP, scored 15 points to lead the West to a 122-99 shootout win over the East. It was the West’s largest margin of victory, and the most points the East has scored.

With 11 Olympians in the game, the high score was a given, but it was the impromptu slam-dunk contest in the closing seconds that brought the crowd of 9,168 to their feet at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

It took 6-foot-5 Lisa Leslie, the first woman ever to dunk in the league, to finally nail it down.

The Los Angeles center’s one-handed slam with 17 seconds remaining were the final points of the game.

It was Swoopes’ fifth All-Star game and the Houston Comets star was out to show she still has what it takes.

“I wanted to represent not just for the old players but for the experienced players,” Swoopes said.

Also, her 8-year-old son, Jordan, who joined his mom at center court immediately after the game told her in the morning she would win the MVP – the first one for Swoopes, one of the league’s founding players.

Minnesota’s Katie Smith added 16 points, hitting 4-of-6 3-pointers and Los Angeles’ Chamique Holdsclaw added 14 for the West. Sacramento’s Yolanda Griffith had a team-high 14 rebounds.

Nolan led the East with 20 points. Indiana’s Tamika Catchings and New York’s Becky Hammon finished with 18 points apiece.

In all, 12 players finished in double figures.

Catchings got the East off and running early with three straight baskets, but Swoopes and Seattle’s Sue Bird quickly brought the West back, each hitting a 3-pointer. With plenty of fresh legs on the bench to spell them, the starters on both sides had no intention of slowing down the pace.

Instead, there was plenty of run-and-gun the first 20 minutes and the West went into the break with a 52-43 lead, punctuated by a 3-pointer from Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi with 10 seconds left.

AP-ES-07-09-05 1843EDT


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