Candace Parker Shines During Her WNBA All-Star Debut
Drops in 35 points, gets MVP nod
7/28/2013, 10:55 a.m.
Candace Parker shines brightly during her All-Star debut
By Ray Robinson
The 2013 WNBA All-Star game belonged to Candace Parker.
Parker, a member of the Los Angeles Sparks, dropped in 35 points and used the national stage to further solidify her place as one of the stars in the league. She lead her team to a 102-98 win over the East, gaining her MVP honors and a boatload of high-fives from her peers.
She was tapped to participate in the 2011 All-Star game, however, she suffered a knee injury that prevented her from making an appearance in the game. This year, Parker refused to be turned back and her play throughout the season got her a nod to return to the summer classic.
On Saturday, she was unstoppable and pretty much had her way against Team East. Two of the league's superstars, Brittney Greiner and Elena Delle Donne were both riding the pine due to injuries. Greiner was out with a sprained left knee and Delle Donne was being careful after suffering a concussion in a game she played in for Chicago on Wednesday.
The two stars were expected to make a big slash and history as well being the first pair of rookies to start in the All-Star game from the same class. There were seven other first-time players that participated in the game.
Parker's teammate on the Sparks, Kristi Toliver also came up big in the game, adding 21 points, 19 of which came in the second half.
Parker ended the night having not only won MVP honors, but, she also broke Swin Cash's All-Star game record of most points scored (22). The game also featured another first. It was the first time that both teams were coached by women. Lin Dunn of Indiana coached the East and Cheryl Reeves was coach for the West.
The game was still anybody's game with just 30 seconds left in regulation with the West ahead 100-98. East player, Cappie Poindexter missed a huge three-pointer that ended the night for the East. Toliver closed it out by hitting two more from the free throw stripe.
Dunn, had a good explaination about why her team was on the losing end of the battle royale. "They had Candace and we didn't," she exclaimed.