- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - Diana Taurasi scored 17 points to help the Phoenix Mercury cruise to their 16th straight win, 90-69 over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night.

The win gave Phoenix (22-3) the second-longest win streak in league history, passing Houston’s 15-game streak in 1998 and moving two games shy of the WNBA mark of 18 straight by Los Angeles in 2001.

Candice Dupree had 16 points and nine rebounds while Brittney Griner added 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots for the Mercury. Taurasi and Griner both sat out the fourth quarter.

The Mercury also won their 11th straight at home, tying a franchise mark set in 1999.

Nneka Ogwumike had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Sparks (12-15), who are now 2-3 since general manager Penny Toler took over as coach during the All-Star break. Los Angeles has lost four of six overall.

The Sparks played for the second consecutive game without leading scorer Candace Parker, who remained in California nursing a left knee strain.


NEW YORK (AP) - Tina Charles scored 23 points, Sugar Rodgers had five points and two huge defensive plays in overtime, and New York held off Washington.

The Liberty (11-14) blew a 15-point lead in the third quarter before pulling out their fourth win in five games.

Trailing 73-71 in the extra period, Plenette Pierson made a tying jumper with 2 1/2 minutes left. Rodgers then scored five straight, hitting a deep 3-pointer and a runner to put New York up 78-73 with 1:02 to go.

Bria Hartley, who made a tying layup with 0.6 seconds remaining in regulation, made a 3 with 56 seconds to go. Pierson made two free throws with 9.9 seconds left and Rodgers came up with two jump balls in the final seconds.

Kia Vaughn had 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Mystics (13-14), who snapped a four-game winning streak.

DREAM 89, SUN 80

ATLANTA (AP) - Angel McCoughtry scored 25 points to help Atlanta snap a four-game losing streak.

The Dream (16-9) increased their lead in the Eastern Conference to four games ahead of second-place Washington. McCoughtry shot 10 for 16 from the field and Tiffany Hayes added 23 points.

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