Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kara Braxton led a balanced attack with 16 points and the Phoenix Mercury held off the Los Angeles Sparks, 90-84, at Staples Center.
Candice Dupree and Panny Taylor each contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds. Taylor also had seven assists for the Mercury, who have already clinched a playoff spot and are locked into the second seed in the Western Conference. Diana Taurasi also scored 15 in the win.
Tina Thompson registered 33 points, making a career-high 14 field goals (14- of-22) for the Sparks, who remained in a third-place tie with San Antonio and Minnesota as those teams fight for the final two playoff spots in the West. Marie Ferdinand-Harris scored 21 in defeat.
Ahead by three points in the final minute, the Mercury got a big block from Dupree on Ferdinand-Harris' tying shot attempt from the left corner.
The Sparks host Minnesota on Friday before closing the season in Seattle the following night.