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Phoenix Mercury Defense Fails In Loss To LA Sparks, 98-84

In the first game of the season for the Phoenix Mercury it was the offense that was the problem. In the second game the offense was better other than a 10-point second quarter, but the defense was horrible. The Mercury allowed the LA Sparks to score 98 points and shoot 49.3 percent in the 98-84 loss.

Candace Parker scored a game-high 22 points and added eight rebounds and five assists while the Mercury were led by Penny Taylor's 18 points and eight rebounds. The Mercury had four players in double figures and shot 43.5 percent from three but weren't able to rely on the normal lift from Diana Taurasi. The Phoenix star went 2-9 and had just nine points.

Candice Dupree had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds but like many Mercury players, struggled with her shot. With so many days off the Phoenix shooters seemed hard-pressed to find a rhythm and the team finished shooting just 43.8 percent.

Teams will have nights where shots won't fall, but good teams pick up their defense to make up for it. The Mercury did not do that.

Taurasi seemed to feel the same way. "You always have to find a way to affect the game regardless of how you shoot it. We didn't get that done tonight."

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