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Griner has 27, Mercury top Sky; Taurasi nears record

San Antonio Stars' Monique Currie and Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner, right, grab for a rebound during first-half WNBA basketball game action Friday, May 19, 2017, in San Antonio. (Edward A. Ornelas/The San Antonio Express-News via AP) AP)

PHOENIX — Brittney Griner scored 27 points and Diana Taurasi inched closer to the WNBA scoring record Friday night as the Phoenix Mercury beat the Chicago Sky 86-78.

Taurasi scored 15 points and is 14 shy of passing the 7,488 points Tina Thompson had from 1997-2013 heading into a Sunday game in Los Angeles. Phoenix’s star was just 2 of 10 from the field and had nine points, all in the first half, until making six free throws in the final minute.

Jessica Breland’s 3-pointer pulled Chicago within 80-75 with just under a minute to play. On the ensuing possession, Cappie Pondexter fouled Taurasi on a shot and then was ejected after picking up two technical fouls. Taurasi made four free throws and after Kahleah Copper’s three-point play with 32 seconds left, she added two more to close out the scoring.

Phoenix (6-4) closed out the second quarter with an 11-4 run to lead 45-32 at the half. It could have been worse but the Sun made just 12 of 21 free throws. They finished 28 of 39 from the line.

Allie Quigley led Chicago (2-8) with 19 points, Breland had 18 and Pondexter 13. The Sky was 15 of 21 from the line.

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