Sports

Sparks fall short against Phoenix, 94-89

Diana Taurasi scores a season-high 32 points in the Phoenix Mercury's 94-89 win over Sparks

Diana Taurasi scored a season-high 32 points, including a season-best seven three-point baskets, and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Sparks, 94-89, Sunday for its seventh consecutive victory to tie a franchise record.

Penny Taylor hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 1 minute 18 seconds to play, giving the Mercury a 90-89 lead. Phoenix got the ball back on a turnover by Kristi Toliver. Taurasi made a three-pointer with eight seconds left for a 93-89 lead, ensuring the Mercury's longest winning streak since August 2006 and the longest in the WNBA this season.

Taylor scored 17 points, Candice Dupree and Brittney Griner each had 15 point, and DeWanna Bonner had 11 points and eight rebounds for Phoenix.

Candace Parker scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, when the Sparks trailed by six points to start and fought back to lead by four points twice. Parker finished with 27 points and Toliver had 26, including five three-pointers. The Sparks are 3-6 at Staples Center.

The Sparks had chances to win after Toliver's three-pointer put them ahead, 89-87, with 2:37 to play. But they were done in by errors. Nneka Ogwumike missed two layups and Parker watched as her jumper went in and out with 46 seconds to go.

Ogwumike, Alana Beard and Toliver combined on a 10-5 run to close the Sparks' deficit to 73-64 going into the fourth quarter.

The Sparks took their first lead on two free throws by Lindsey Harding. The Sparks gained and held onto the lead while Parker was on the bench getting her first break of the game. She returned to help them stretch the lead to seven points on a layup before settling for a 47-45 lead at the break.

The Sparks trailed by 13 points three times in the opening quarter, when the Mercury shot 71%.

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