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Last-place Fever end five-game skid, top short-handed Sparks

LOS ANGELES -- Candice Dupree and Cappie Pondexter each scored 16 points and the last-place Indiana Fever beat the short-handed Los Angeles Sparks 78-76 on Friday night to end a five-game losing streak.

Natalie Achonwa's steal and assist to Pondexter gave Indiana a 77-70 lead, but Candace Parker answered with her eighth straight point for Los Angeles with 2:25 left. Neither team scored again until Chelsea Gray's baseline jumper with 27 seconds to go made it 77-74.

Erica Wheeler made a free throw with 21 seconds left to extend Indiana's lead to 78-74. Gray made a quick layup and Indiana turned it over, but Essence Carson missed a baseline jumper and Parker's follow shot rolled off at the buzzer.

Achonwa had 15 points and nine rebounds for Indiana (3-21), which has wins this season against the past two WNBA championship teams.

Parker had 24 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for her seventh double-double of the season for Los Angeles (14-10). Jantel Lavender added 23 points, topping her season high in the first half with 19 points. Nneka Ogwumike, averaging 16.1 points and 7.4 rebounds, did not play due to illness.

The Sparks have lost four straight home games.