- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Candice Dupree scored 18 points as Phoenix beat the New York Liberty 76-64 on Tuesday night, giving the Mercury home-court advantage throughout the WNBA playoffs.

Diana Taurasi had 14 points, Brittney Griner scored 12 and Erin Phillips had 11 for Phoenix (27-4), the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Dupree moved into 20th place on the league’s career scoring list with 4,247 points.

Tina Charles scored 16 of her 26 points in the first quarter to keep New York (13-18) competitive early.

The Liberty trailed 33-30 in the second quarter, before the Mercury scored the last 10 points of the half to take a 13-point lead at the break. Taurasi had five points and Anete Jekabsone-Zogota had a 3-pointer during the run.

Dupree’s jumper gave Phoenix a 70-52 lead with 5:46 remaining in the fourth, and New York got no closer than 12 the rest of the way.

SPARKS 71, LYNX 63

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Kristi Toliver scored 20 of her 29 points in the second half as Los Angeles clinched a playoff spot.

Candace Parker added 16 points for the Sparks (15-17), who are battling San Antonio for third place in the Western Conference. Minnesota has second place in the West sewn up.

Maya Moore scored 20 points for the Lynx (24-8), who have lost two straight.

The Lynx led 63-62 with 2 minutes to play, but the Sparks closed the game on a 9-0 run. Toliver put Los Angeles on top with a turn-around jumper, and then buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Sparks a 67-63 lead.

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