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Swoopes Leads Comets, 77-70

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<i> From Associated Press</i>

Sheryl Swoopes scored 23 points Saturday to lead the Houston Comets to a 77-70 victory over the Phoenix Mercury before 16,285 at Houston.

The Comets improved to 19-4, and the Mercury, after winning four in a row, fell to 10-12.

Phoenix led, 15-8, after five minutes, but in a span covering the last seven minutes of the first half, the Comets outscored the Mercury, 23-8, highlighted by two two-point baskets by reserve Janeth Arcain, who finished with a season-high 13 points.

The Mercury trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half.

Utah 63, Sacramento 59--The Starzz, playing their third consecutive game without injured star Natalie Williams, beat the Monarchs (14-9) before 8,155 at Salt Lake City as 7-foot-2 Margo Dydek, who made 10 of 11 free throws, scored a season-high 25 points and blocked four shots.

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Dydek played only 20 minutes because of foul trouble. The Starzz improved to 8-14.

Cleveland 55, Detroit 53--A 5-0 run late in the game helped the Rockers (6-17) rally to beat the Shock (10-12) before 6,771 at Auburn Hills, Mich.

Cleveland trailed, 51-48, with 1:34 to play but a three-point play by Chasity Melvin gave the Rockers a 53-51 lead.

After the Shock was called for a shot-clock violation, Merlakia Jones scored to make the score 55-51.

Cleveland (6-17) avoided being swept this season by the Shock (10-12), which has lost four in a row.

Charlotte 56, Minnesota 52--Andrea Stinson scored 17 points as the Sting (13-10) extended its winning streak to five games by beating the Lynx (11-10) in front of 12,690 at Minneapolis.

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