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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Lisa Leslie scored 18 points and Latasha Byears added 17 as the Los Angeles Sparks shot 53 percent to beat the Utah Starzz 84-71 Tuesday night.

The Sparks improved to 6-0 at Staples Center in front of 7,245 _ their smallest crowd of the season.

Tamecka Dixon added 13 points and seven assists for the Sparks (12-3).

Jennifer Azzi led the Starzz (5-8) with 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Natalie Williams added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Marie Ferdinand also had 16 points.

Margo Dydek, Utah's 7-foot-2 center, grabbed six rebounds, giving her 702 in her four-year WNBA career.

Utah also shot well, hitting 49 percent despite losing its third straight and fourth in five games.

Los Angeles led by 11 points early in the second half, but Utah chipped away and got within three with 14:29 remaining.

That's when Byears, Leslie and DeLisha Milton keyed a 20-8 run that broke the game open. Milton finished with 13 points in her fourth game as a reserve after coach Michael Cooper took her starting spot away.

Byears scored five straight points. Milton scored inside and from 3-point range to tally nine points and Leslie added six despite picking up her fourth foul during the spurt that gave the Sparks a 74-59 lead with 5:24 remaining.

The Starzz outscored Los Angeles 10-2 to close within seven with 2:43 left before the Sparks steadied themselves on Leslie's three-point play and pulled away for their third straight win.