Taurasi helps Mercury hold off Dream
PHOENIX — Diana Taurasi scored 28 points and the Phoenix Mercury held off the Atlanta Dream's fourth-quarter rally 82-76 on Saturday night to snap a three-game skid.
DeWanna Bonner had 23 points for the Mercury (10-10), winners of just two of their last eight games.
Angel McCoughtry had 33 points and eight assists for Atlanta (11-6), which was playing for the first time since July 24. Erika de Souza added 16 points and 11 rebounds as Atlanta, second in the Eastern Conference, lost for the fifth time in its last six.
Taurasi's free throws with 6:21 remaining gave Phoenix a 71-57 lead but Atlanta rallied, getting layups from de Souza and McCoughtry after Phoenix turnovers to pull to 77-76 with 1:06 remaining.
Taurasi and Bonner then made five of six free throws in the final minute to help secure Phoenix's win.
Both teams had double-digit leads in the game and back-to-back runs in the second quarter to keep it close.
Atlanta has another week off before playing six games in a 10-day stretch later in the month.
The Dream dropped to 0-5 on the road against Western Conference teams this season.
McCoughtry, the league's second-leading scorer behind Taurasi at 20.3 points per game, had 22 by halftime but shot 4 for 17 from the field in the second half.
Atlanta missed 14 of 17 shots in the third quarter as Phoenix took a 58-52 advantage going into the final period.
The teams traded runs in the second quarter as Atlanta took a 43-40 lead at the break.
Phoenix went on a 19-2 run, scoring 12 straight to take a 40-29 lead with 2:55 left in the half. But McCoughtry scored seven during a 14-0 run to end the quarter that gave the Dream their three-point advantage.
Taurasi, the leading scorer in the WNBA, had 15 by halftime for the Mercury, who had 10 turnovers in the first quarter, leading to 12 Dream points. Atlanta took advantage of Phoenix's miscues to score 10 fast-break points on its way to a 24-17 lead after one.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
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