SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Cappie Pondexter scored 17 points and Katie Douglas hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 56.7 seconds left, helping the East All-Stars hang on to beat the West in one of the closest WNBA midseason showcases in history, 118-113 on Saturday.
Douglas, the Indiana Fever guard, finished with 15 points and helped the East win just its third All-Star game in 10 tries — and third in the last four. Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles also had 15 points for the East and headlined a record 10 first-time All-Stars in this year’s game.
Swin Cash led the West with 21 points and 12 rebounds and was named MVP for the second time. Former WNBA star Lisa Leslie is the only other player with multiple All-Star MVP awards.
Cash, the Seattle Storm’a four-time All-Star, was also named MVP in 2009.
It may have been the WNBA’s last All-Star game until 2013. Next summer is the Olympics, and the league may cancel the game — as it did in 2008 — while its biggest names play for the U.S. national team.
Minnesota Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson had 20 points and nine rebounds for the West while starting in place of Los Angeles Sparks center Candace Parker, who is out due to knee injury.
Neither side led by more than five points. The West’s last chance ended when San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, scrambling to shoot a 3-pointer, instead found herself without an open shot and nowhere to pass with 3.5 seconds left. Her desperate bid to escape a trap ended with her whistled for traveling.
It was a disappointing end in an otherwise humbling day for Hammon, who was among 15 current and former WNBA players named as the league’s best all-time players during a halftime ceremony.
All-Stars Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi and Pondexter also made the list.
Tulsa’s Liz Cambage, a late All-Star addition following Parker’s injury, scored 13 points for the West. Taurasi also had 13 points and Phoenix’s Penny Taylor added 11.
New York’s Essence Carson scored 13 points off the bench for the East and Connecticut’s Renee Montgomery added 12. Catchings, playing in her seventh All-Star game, finished with 11 points.
Douglas’ 3 summed up how the East won the game. The East shot 47 percent from behind the arc while hitting 16 3s, more than twice as many as the West. Douglas, Carson and Montgomery each hit three 3s.
It was the East’s first victory since 2007, when it won 103-99.