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Phoenix Mercury

Updated Apr 30, 2015 - 2:58 pm

Griner leads Mercury to 15th straight victory

PHOENIX — Brittney Griner scored 18 points and the Phoenix Mercury tied the second-longest winning streak in WNBA history with their 15th straight victory, beating the New York Liberty 78-63 on Saturday night.

The Mercury (21-3) matched the 1998 Houston Comets with the victory and are three short of the league mark set by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001.

Griner also had eight rebounds and six blocks, and Diana Taurasi added 15 points, 10 assists and five rebounds for Phoenix, which clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Tina Charles had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead New York (10-14). The Liberty had won three in a row and six of their last eight.

Phoenix had a 20-point lead and was by at least seven after the first quarter

The Mercury held Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter to 12 points on 6-of-18 shooting. New York got within nine going into the final period but missed its first three shots in the fourth.

The have won by an average of 13.2 points during the winning streak.

Candice Dupree added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Penny Taylor had 10 points for Phoenix, which used a 10-0 run in the second quarter to open up a close game.

New York cut it to 25-20 early in the second, but the Mercury outscored the Liberty 22-10 the rest of the half as New York missed 11 of 15 shots during a key stretch.

New York used a 10-0 run of its own in the third quarter to get back in the game. Plenette Pierson’s free throw after Taurasi was hit with a technical foul cut the lead to 55-48 with three minutes left in the period. Phoenix led 60-51 going into the final quarter.

Phoenix has shot better than 50 percent in the last six games, making 31 of 60 on Saturday.

The Mercury’s last loss was a 96-95 setback at Connecticut on June 12.

Griner has 94 blocks on the season for a 3.9 average.


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