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WNBA: Mercury top Sparks to snap 4-game losing streak

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Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 21 points as the visiting Phoenix Mercury ended a four-game losing streak by defeating the Los Angeles Sparks 80-66 on Friday night.

Brianna Turner added 15 points, Britney Griner had 14 and Megan Walker 10 as the Mercury (6-7) improved to 4-5 without star Diana Taurasi, who is expected to return from a fractured sternum when Phoenix hosts Los Angeles on June 27.

Erica Wheeler scored 17 points, Brittney Syknes had 14 and Bria Holmes added 11 to lead Los Angeles (5-6).

The Sparks earned an 85-80 home win over the Mercury on Wednesday.

The Friday game was tied at the end of the first quarter, but Phoenix outscored Los Angeles 27-19 in the second quarter, the only quarter in which either team put up as many as 20 points.

Sykes made three free throws to help the Sparks close within 52-48 late in the third quarter.

Shey Peddy answered with a four-point play and then another free throw, and teammate Kia Nurse added five more points to give Phoenix a 62-49 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Wheeler’s driving layup pulled Los Angeles within 10 points with 6:28 to go in the fourth quarter.

Diggins-Smith responded with a layup and Griner added two free throws for a 70-56 lead.

Sykes made two baskets to pull the Sparks within 71-62 with 4:26 left, but Turner scored the next five points to put the Mercury in command.

Griner and Diggins-Smith scored four points each as the Mercury raced to an early 13-3 lead.

Kristi Toliver scored six points during a 14-2 run that gave the Sparks a brief lead before Griner’s basket tied the score at 17 at the end of the first quarter.

The lead changed hands three times and the score was tied once in the second period before Diggins-Smith led a Phoenix charge. She had nine points as the Mercury led by 10 points on three occasions before settling for a 44-36 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

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