Home Sport Griner chokes, Taurasi heats up and Mercury wins over Sparks

Griner chokes, Taurasi heats up and Mercury wins over Sparks

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Griner chokes, Taurasi heats up and Mercury wins over Sparks

PHOENIX (AP) – Brittney Griner scored 29 points, including her 25th dunk as a proand the Phoenix Mercury held on for a 78-72 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks in a matchup between the two contending teams on Sunday.

Diana Taurasi added 12 of 22 in the fourth quarter to put her just shy of 100 points from 10,000 in her career. Moriah Jefferson scored 11 for the Mercury (4-14), who had lost three straight and nine of 10 for a WNBA-worst record. Griner, who matched her season-high in points, also had 11 rebounds.

Nneka Ogwumike had 20 points and 14 boards to lead the Sparks (7-12), who have lost five straight. Jordin Canada scored 16 points, Azura Stevens 13 and Jasmine Thomas 10.

The Sparks were without five players and lost starter Dearica Hamby to a sprained ankle midway through the first half.

Griner had 16 points in the first half as the Mercury took a 42-36 lead. Griner was 7 of 11 shooting, including a dunk early in the second quarter. It was her 18th of the regular season to go with five all-star appearances and two in the playoffs.

Griner converted a three-point play to put Phoenix on top 68-55 with six minutes to play, but Ogwumike scored eight points before Canada made back-to-back three-pointers and the Sparks were within 72-69 with two minutes to go.

Stevens made a free throw and then the Sparks had a chance to tie the game with a minute remaining, but a Taurasi foul on Canada was overturned after a coach’s challenge. Taurasi made four free throws and Griner two to secure the win.

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