- Associated Press - Thursday, August 24, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - Odyssey Sims scored a season-high 28 points, Nneka Ogwumike had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Phoenix Mercury 82-67 on Thursday night.

Los Angeles (23-8) won its fourth straight to get within one game of first-place Minnesota, which plays at the Sparks on Sunday.

Chelsea Gray and Candace Parker each scored 12 points for Los Angeles. Sims was 12 of 19 from the floor and had six rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

Los Angeles opened the second quarter on a 14-2 run for a 30-20 lead and Gray beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 42-31.The Sparks used an 11-0 spurt midway through the third for a 53-36 advantage and cruised in the fourth.

Phoenix (15-16) struggled without a resting Diana Taurasi, turning it over nine times in the first 12 minutes.

Brittney Griner led the Mercury with 18 points and four blocks.

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