Utah's Margo Dydek reaches in to block the shot of Houston's Monica Lamb. It didn't help much, however, as the Starzz fell to the league-leading, defending WNBA-champion Houston Comets, 88-65.

The game put the coaching record to Utah's Frank Layden at 1-all.It was Houston's 15th straight win, which is an ongoing league-record streak. It also meant first-place Houston clinched a playoff spot. The Comets are 20-1 overall.

Houston's 51-point first half gave it a 26-point margin at intermission, its biggest of the season.

Utah was able to stay close to Houston in the first two meetings of the season. In Thursday's game, however, the Comets were able to open up the lead early and then run away with the game.

Layden said after the game he was impressed with the Houston team.

"They were sky high, and they came out and shot the ball really well. They did it from their defensive end. We had 23 turnovers and made some bad decisions," he said.

Layden had hoped to cut down on Utah's turnovers, but the Comets were credited with 15 steals. Utah was able to outscore Houston in the second half, 40-37, but it wasn't enough.

The Starzz are 7-14 and will now head back to the Delta Center to host Los Angeles on Saturday in the first of a three-game home stand.

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