PHOENIX (AP) — Leilani Mitchell scored 22 points in her first start of the season and the Phoenix Mercury handed the Los Angeles Sparks their fourth-straight loss with an 82-72 victory Sunday.
Briann January and DeWanna Bonner scored 15 points each, Brittney Griner had 13 and Essence Carson 11 for the Mercury (3-5), who had lost three straight. Griner blocked two shots for 588, breaking a tie with Lauren Jackson for third in league history.
Candace Parker and Chiney Ogwumike led the Sparks (4-6) with 12 points apiece. Parker added 10 rebounds for a double-double in just her third game of the season.
Mitchell had 15 points and January 11 as Phoenix led 44-42 at the half.
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt hit a 3-pointer to open the second half but then the Suns scored 12 straight points. Los Angeles cut the deficit to 60-56 after three quarters but Bonner had back-to-back 3-pointers 29 seconds apart in the fourth quarter to get the lead back to 10.
Chiney Ogwumike had consecutive baskets midway through to make it a six point game but January and Mitchell had baskets to restore the 10-point lead and Phoenix held on.