PHOENIX – Diana Taurasi scored 17 points to help the Phoenix Mercury post its 16th consecutive victory, 90-69 over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night.

Phoenix (22-3) has the second-longest winning streak in league history, passing Houston’s 15-game run in 1998 and moving two games shy of the record of 18 straight by Los Angeles in 2001.

Candice Dupree had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Mercury, which led 42-39 at the break despite allowing the Sparks to shoot 58 percent in the first half.

“It was a mess,” Dupree said of the first half. “It was a mess on both ends of the floor. We lacked energy, missing shots, bad defense, wasn’t pretty.”

    Most Read Stories

Nneka Ogwumike had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Sparks (12-15), who are 2-3 since general manager Penny Toler replaced the fired Carol Ross as coach.

The Sparks played for the second consecutive game without leading scorer Candace Parker, who has a left-knee strain.

Other games

Tina Charles scored 23 points as host New York beat Washington 80-76.

Angel McCoughtry scored 25 points to help Atlanta snap a four-game losing streak by defeating visiting Connecticut 89-80.

Kayla McBride scored 16 points as host San Antonio used a balanced offense to beat Chicago 92-74.