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Phoenix Mercury Win Two In A Row, Down LA Sparks 98-89

Led by Diana Taurasi's 30-point, seven-assist performance, the Phoenix Mercury won their second straight game after putting an end to their six-game skid.

Forward Candice Dupree added a double-double, tallying 25 points and 12 rebounds, as the Merc downed the woeful Los Angeles Sparks 98-89. The Sparks have lost six of their last seven games, all without star Candice Parker, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

DeLisha Milton-Jones, with 20 points and eight rebounds, led the Sparks, but her effort was not enough. The Sparks are searching desperately for ways to stay afloat after losing Parker, but her absence has been fatal thus far.

To even things up, the Mercury were also playing short-handed: Guard Ketia Swanier was suspended one game for leaving the bench during the Cappie Pondexter brush-up on Saturday night. However, the Mercury didn't seem affected, leading at one point by 23 points before the Sparks chipped away the lead to single digits in the third quarter before an 8-2 spurt basically sealed the game.

Notes:

Phoenix had a 21-18 advantage at the free throw line, and converted all of their attempts -- a record for the team.

The Mercury will take a one-week hiatus for the WNBA All-Star game. Taurasi, Dupree, and Penny Taylor will all be taking part. Taylor will represent the WNBA as they take on the USA Basketball Women's National Team, whose roster includes Taurasi and Dupree.