ROSEMONT, Ill. — Diana Taurasi scored 19 points, DeWanna Bonner added 13 and the Phoenix Mercury extended their franchise record winning streak to nine games with a 72-66 victory over the Chicago Sky on Friday night.
Brittney Griner added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Mercury (15-3), who have the league’s best record and top the Western Conference standings.
Sylvia Fowles had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago before getting into foul trouble. The Sky (8-12) have lost four straight and 12 of 15. They were without All-Star forward Elena Delle Donne and point guard Courtney Vandersloot. Delle Donne had a flare-up of Lyme disease and Vandersloot missed her fifth straight game with a sprained knee. She could be sidelined up to 10 weeks.
Fowles re-entered the game with five fouls with 5:06 to go and the Mercury leading 60-57. Taurasi’s 3 gave Phoenix a 65-59 lead with 3:12 remaining. Young’s layup pulled the Sky to within 65-61, but Candice Dupree came up with a steal and layup for a 67-61 lead to all but seal it with 1:18 left.
Dupree finished with 11 and Penny Taylor had 10 to help Phoenix overcome 37 percent shooting and 17 turnovers.
Jamierra Faulkner had 13 points and Tamera Young 12 for Chicago, which shot 41 percent from the field. Epiphanny Prince, who came in averaging 17.4 points, finished with five.
Taylor hit a three to tie it 34-34 with 8:57 left in the third. Taurasi was called for an offensive foul and a technical for delay of game. After Prince hit the free throw, Fowles completed a three-point play to put the Sky ahead 38-34.
The Mercury tied it 42-42 on Bonner’s three-point play and Taurasi found Griner under the basket for a layup and a 44-42 lead, Phoenix’s first since the opening seconds. Griner was fouled and made the free throw.
The Sky’s Allie Quigley hit a jumper to tie it 49-49 with 21.8 seconds left in the third. But Fowles committed her fifth foul and Taurasi made both free throws with 7.2 seconds left before Faulkner hit a layup with 1.1 seconds left to tie it 51-51 heading into the fourth.
Taurasi hit a 3 with 2.4 seconds to go before halftime to cut the Mercury’s deficit to 30-29. Phoenix trailed by one despite shooting 33.3 percent and committing 11 turnovers. Bonner led the Mercury with 10 points in the half. Griner and Taurasi combined to shoot 4 for 13 for 10 points. Fowles had nine points for the Sky, who shot 36.1 percent.
The Sky led 18-15 after the first quarter.