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Phoenix 78, Houston 64
Mercury End Bounce-Back Season With Win
The Phoenix Mercury got back in the win column after it already was too late.
Anna DeForge and Plenette Pierson scored 24 points apiece as the Mercury snapped a four-game losing streak with a 78-64 victory over the Houston Comets.

Phoenix (17-17) was eliminated from postseason contention with Sacramento's win Saturday.

The Mercury never trailed and went on a 13-0 run in the final three minutes of the first half to take a 50-27 at the break.

Houston (13-21) chipped away in the second half, drawing within 68-59 with 3:38 remaining on two free throws by Tina Thompson, but DeForge and Pierson scored seven points down the stretch as the Mercury coasted to the victory.

Rookie Diana Taurasi scored 14 points for Phoenix, which did not finish below .500 for the first time since 2000.

Thompson scored 17 points to lead the Comets, who finished the season with the worst record in their history.

(Courtesy of


Mystics Beat Mercury 74-67
PHOENIX - Alana Beard had 23 points and nine rebounds to help the Washington Mystics lock up a playoff spot Friday night with a 74-67 victory over the Phoenix Mercury.

Washington (17-16) has won five in a row and seven of 10 without All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw, who ended her season on Sept. 8 because of an undisclosed medical problem.

Diana Taurasi had 25 points for Phoenix, which lost its fourth straight.

The Mercury (16-17) are on the brink of playoff elimination. With the loss, they fell a half-game behind Sacramento for the fourth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference. Phoenix needs the Monarchs to lose their remaining two games — both at home against the Comets and Minnesota Lynx — and the Mercury must beat Houston on Sunday.

The Monarchs would win a tiebreaker if both teams end up with identical 17-17 records.

Chasity Melvin added 15 points and 11 rebounds, her first double-double of the season, for Washington, which clinched the postseason berth with Charlotte's loss to San Antonio earlier Friday.

Washington went on a 14-2 run to take a 57-50 lead with 8:53 left. Phoenix never got closer then four the rest of the way.

The Mystics held Phoenix, the WNBA's third-best 3-point shooting team, to 5-of-19 from beyond the arc. Washington also outrebounded Phoenix 36-29.

Despite missing seven of their first eight shots, the Mercury scored the last eight points of the half to take a 39-28 lead at halftime. Taurasi scored 17 points before the half.

(Courtesy of Yahoo News)


Seattle 73, Phoenix 58
Jackson, Storm Silence Mercury
The Phoenix Mercury are piling up losses at the worst time of the year.

Led by Lauren Jackson's game-high 25 points, the Seattle Storm handed the Mercury their third loss in a row, with a 73-58 victory. The loss drops Phoenix to .500 (16-16) and cuts its lead over the Sacramento Monarchs for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference to one-half game.

The Mercury played like a team that wanted to make the playoffs for most of the first half, taking a 25-12 lead on a 3-pointer by Diana Taurasi with 5:33 to go. However, the Storm finished the half on a 15-5 run to make the score 30-27 at the half.

Taurasi, who led Phoenix with 20 points, buried a 10-footer to give the Mercury a 40-37 lead, but Tully Bevilaqua tied the game with a 3-pointer that kicked off a 25-7 run by Seattle.

Jackson, the reigning Most Valuable Player, led the charge with 14 points in the second half for the Storm, who are already locked into the second seed in the Western Conference in the upcoming playoffs.

The Mercury have two games remaining while the Monarchs have three left, and hold the tiebreaker by virtue of winning the season series.
(Courtesy of WNBA.COM)


Sparks 73, Mercury 60
LOS ANGELES (AP) Lisa Leslie returned from the Summer Olympics with a gold medal and a rejuvenated game.

Leslie made 11 of 17 shots and scored a season-high 31 points to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to a 73-60 victory Tuesday night over the Phoenix Mercury.

Since the break for the Olympics, Leslie has averaged 26 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.5 blocks.

``Lisa turned up her play,'' Sparks co-coach Karleen Thompson said. ``She is playing very consistent and she is being aggressive. She has a lot of energy which makes everyone around her better.''

Leslie was 9-of-12 from the free throw line and added seven rebounds for the WNBA's Western Conference champions, who shot 47.5 percent. Nikki Teasley added 13 points and Mwadi Mabika 11 for the Sparks.

Phoenix, which shot just 38.3 percent, was led by Penny Taylor and Anna DeForge with 12 points each. Plenette Pierson added 10 points for the Mercury, which holds a one-game lead over Sacramento in the race for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

Both teams have three games remaining.

The score was tied at 48 in the second half when Los Angeles used a 9-0 run to move ahead 57-48 with 8:51 to play.

``They are one of the only teams in the league that can get 10 or 12 points in the blink of an eye,'' Mercury coach Carrie Graf said of the Sparks. ``They're the best team in the league in running and controlling momentum.''

Taylor was fouled while making a layup and converted the ensuing free throw to narrow the Mercury's deficit to 57-51 with 8:31 left. But Leslie's hook shot and Mabika's fallaway jumper extended the Sparks' lead to 61-51 with 7:02 to play.

Los Angeles made 16 of 30 shots in the second half while Phoenix made only 10 of 31.

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix's highly regarded rookie, made only three of 12 shots and finished with seven points.

(Courtesy of CBS 4 Denver)


September 11,2004.
Shock 80 Mercury 72
Nolan Directs Late Shock Rally
PHOENIX, Sept. 11 (Ticker) -- Despite losing leading scorer Swin Cash in the first half, the Detroit Shock refused to lose their third straight game.
Deanna Nolan scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half and the Shock used a late run to rally for an 80-72 triumph over the Phoenix Mercury.

After Diana Taurasi hit a pair of free throws with 1:46 remaining to give Phoenix a 69-68 lead, Nolan answered with a 17-foot jumper to start a 10-0 run. Nolan scored eight points during the surge, including 6-of-6 from the foul line.

Cheryl Ford had a pair of free throws in the final minute and produced 10 points and eight rebounds. Ruth Riley scored 15 points and Merlakia Jones came off the bench to score 14 in Cash's absence.

With the win, fifth-place Detroit (15-17) moved within one-half game of Indiana and New York for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Cash left after twisting her left knee midway through the first half, but the Shock managed a 29-28 lead at halftime. Riley scored the first basket in the second half before the Mercury went on a 23-10 run over the next seven minutes to take a 51-41 lead.

Penny Taylor scored nine of the first 11 points during the run and finished with 23. Taurasi capped the uprising with a 3-pointer and added 19 for Phoenix.

Losing for the first time in five games, the Mercury (16-14) fell to fourth in the West, one-half game behind Minnesota.

September 8th, 2004

Mercury 72 Sparks 58



Taurasi Has 21, Mercury Beat Sparks 72-58
PHOENIX - Rookie Diana Taurasi had 21 points and eight assists to lead Phoenix to a 72-58 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night, snapping the Sparks' 18-game winning streak over the Mercury.
The Sparks, who had won seven straight overall, had beaten Phoenix in all 18 meetings since July 17, 1999.

Penny Taylor and Anna DeForge each added 17 points for Phoenix (16-13), which moved a game ahead of Sacramento and into a tie with Minnesota for the third playoff spot from the Western Conference with its fourth straight win.

Lisa Leslie had 20 points and 14 rebounds — her 16th double-double — for the Sparks, who have the best record in the WNBA (21-8) and had won 13 of 14.

The Mercury, who have won eight of nine, never allowed the Sparks to get closer than eight points in the second half, taking advantage of Los Angeles' 34.6 percent shooting (18-of-52). The Sparks committed 19 turnovers, leading to 19 Phoenix points.

Los Angeles played without Tamecka Dixon, who is averaging 9.6 points in nearly 28 minutes per game. She was serving a one-game suspension for pushing Seattle's Betty Lennox in the face in a game Sept. 3.

Christi Thomas added 12 points for Los Angeles.

Taurasi scored 13 points, including eight during a 15-0 run, as Phoenix took a 42-29 halftime lead. Los Angeles missed nine straight shots and committed three turnovers during that 5-minute span which ended with the Mercury leading by as many as 19 points.

(Courtesy of Yahoo News)

Injury Report

Shereka Wright
Right Ankle Sprain
Injured Reserved
Lindsay Taylor
Strained Right Achilles Tendon
Injured Reserved

DT puts the ill in SKillZ!!!!!