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Oh, Candace! Parker's 33 points usher Sparks to playoffs

With one win between them and the playoffs, Candace Parker made sure that the Los Angeles Sparks were getting in today, as she notched 33 points in an epic performance.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles, CA -- Candace Parker isn't like the rest of us. While you lounged sluggishly on your couch Sunday afternoon, lethargy induced from that big brunch you had, Parker was putting on a show at the Staples Center.

She knocked down a three at the buzzer to close the first half, she fired no-look passes in flashes at Nneka Ogwumike, finished the game with 33 points, and took a charge in the fourth quarter just for kicks. When the Tulsa Shock went on a run in the third quarter, Candace knocked down a three, because she's Candace, and that's what she does.

And give the Tulsa Shock credit, Parker at times was almost unfair, and they got down by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, but chipped away at that lead and cut it to 4 with six minutes left in the game. Much of that had to do with the timely shooting of forward Plenette Pierson, who finished with 21 points and guard Odyssey Sims, who had a quiet 21 points.

However, the high-low game between Parker and Ogwumike was just too overwhelming for Tulsa, the duo combined for 59 of their team's 92 points, and at multiple points in the game seemed like they were competing with one another. As electric as Parker was from all over the floor, Ogwumike was just as dominant in the low post and on the baseline, racking up 26 points and 9 rebounds.

As the curtain starts to close on the regular season, the Sparks and Shock both seem primed for deep runs in the playoffs. That quest continues in Atlanta on Wednesday for the Sparks and Tuesday against the San Antonio Stars for the Shock.