By KATE HEDLIN
(AP) -- It says something about the kind of season Kristi Toliver is having that even in one of her worst games of the season, she found a way to help the Los Angeles Sparks win their last time out.
Her late-game heroics are all too familiar to the Seattle Storm.
Toliver and the Sparks will go for a third straight win Sunday when they host the Storm - the third meeting of the season between the Western Conference rivals.
After being mostly a role player off the bench her first two seasons in the WNBA, Toliver saw additional playing time in 2001, starting 17 of her 32 games played.
Toliver seems to have built off that increased playing time this year. She's averaging a career-best 20.0 points - among the league's top 10 scorers - and is 13 of 26 from 3-point range.
While Toliver had a WNBA-record 14 turnovers her last game, she hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Los Angeles to a 76-75 win over Tulsa on Tuesday.
"Good teams just find a way," coach Carol Ross said. "I told (Toliver) in the locker room, 'Nothing else can go wrong for you. You've used up all your wrong chips.' It was time for something good to happen. For her to be able to keep her head up and have the confidence to take the shot says a lot about her character."
Toliver has been the go-to scorer the Sparks (4-1) missed last season, when they were without Candice Parker for much of the year and missed the playoffs
After scoring at least 21 points in three straight games, Parker finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in Tuesday's victory.
The Sparks, who also started last season 4-1, have become very familiar with the Storm. After the teams met in the preseason, Los Angeles swept a home-and-home series to open the regular season last month.
Toliver came up big in both victories. She scored 10 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter on May 18 to help the Sparks overcome a 21-point second-half deficit en route to a 72-66 victory, then had two 3-pointers in the final five minutes of a 74-61 win May 22.
After their tough start, the Storm (1-3) are looking to build off their first victory following a 76-58 win over the Shock on Friday.
Seattle outscored Tulsa 40-23 in the second half and Sue Bird finished with a season-high 27 points, going 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
Bird had scored 12 points combined her previous two games while shooting 4 of 17. She had connected on 5 of her previous 17 attempts from beyond the arc the prior three games.
"That's Sue to me, I expect her to play well every night and when she doesn't I'm surprised," Camille Little, who had 19 points and nine rebounds, said about Bird snapping out of her two-game shooting slump.
The Storm have lost three straight against the Sparks at the Staples Center.
Updated June 2, 2012