Sparkin’ up the Galen joint

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Maybe you’ve heard through various second-, third- and fourth-hand sources (aw, for heaven sakes, do a Google search once and a while for “WNBA” and “not yet disbanded”) that the WNBA’s Sparks have to play their one and only home playoff game in their upcoming Western Conference finals series against Becky Hammon and the San Antonio Russians Silver Stars at the Galen Center near the USC campus, because Staples Center is busy hosting … does it matter?

How’d you like to get kicked out of your cavernous, empty-seat, big-time stadium/arena and get sent down the street to play in an intimate, college facility that brings star center Lisa Leslie back before her former pre-WNBA family?

As far as TV goes, all we got at this point:

Thursday Game 1 at Galen Center: 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Saturday Game 2 at San Antonio: noon, NBA TV
Sunday Game 3* at San Antonio: 2 p.m., ESPN2 (with Terry Gannon, Doris Burke and Heather Cox. Gannon, by the way, is that the Rose Bowl on Saturday to do the UCLA-Fresno State football game.)
*-only if it’s really, really necessary.


All games are live on ESPN360.com. No radio on any of the Sparks-Silver Stars games. During the Sparks’ first-round series against Seattle, FSN Prime Ticket took the NBA TV feed and aired ‘em on a delayed broadcast (using Larry Burnett as the play-by-play guy). FSN says it won’t be doing any more Sparks games this post-season.

The WNBA Finals, a best-of-five, begin Oct. 1, on ESPN2 at 5 p.m.

ESPN2 is also doing Game 2 of the Eastern Conference New York Liberty-Detroit Shock series on Sunday at noon with Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck and Holly Rowe. Which means, the Sparks’ Game 3 contest could be “joined in progress.” That’s what happened last Sunday, when the Sparks’ Game 2 against Seattle started at its scheduled time, but the preceeding Indiana-Detroit game went into overtime. Sparks-Storm wasn’t joined until halfway through the second quarter. How would that fly with Laker fans if it happened to an ABC doubleheader?

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