Parker's 16 points help LA rout Phoenix
LOS ANGELES (AP) —- Candace Parker and Jantel Lavender each scored 16 points as the Los Angeles Sparks routed the Phoenix Mercury 89-55 on Sunday.
Nneka Ogwumike had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Sparks (24-10) in a preview of the Western Conference semifinals. They've clinched the second and third seeds and will open a best-of-three series Thursday in Los Angeles.
Brittney Griner had nine points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Phoenix (19-15), which was held to its lowest point total this season. Jasmine James also added nine points.
Diana Taurasi, who had a shot at her sixth WNBA scoring title, took a knee to the quad from A'dia Mathies in the second quarter and was held out as a precautionary measure. She scored eight points in 15 minutes.
Phoenix's second-leading scorer Candice Dupree did not play because of a tight hamstring.
Parker made 6 of 7 shots and provided the highlight basket with a Hakeem Olajuwon "Dream Shake" move on 6-foot-8 Griner in the third. Griner finished 4 of 8 from the field.
Kristi Toliver and Lindsey Harding each scored 12 points for L.A., which led by double digits from 19-9. The Sparks outscored Phoenix 13-2 on fast-break points through three quarters. Jenna O'Hea gave the Sparks their biggest lead at 75-37 on a basket inside.
The Sparks took a 49-26 lead into halftime behind Parker's 12 points, Toliver's 10 and Lavender's eight. Phoenix committed nine turnovers in the opening 10 minutes and 21 overall.
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