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Taurasi scores 20 as Mercury beat Lynx

Aug 2, 2009 - 3:51 AM MINNEAPOLIS(AP) -- Coming off their worst loss of the season, the Phoenix Mercury weren't feeling much better after a 13-point win.

Diana Taurasi scored 20 points, Cappie Pondexter had 17 and Phoenix recovered from a 30-point loss at Atlanta on Thursday to beat the Minnesota Lynx 87-74 on Saturday night.

Despite leading by as many as 33 points against Minnesota, the Mercury weren't ready to celebrate.

"We play so many basketball games, you can't put too much hype in a loss, too much hype in a win," Taurasi said. "I don't like whether you win or lose a game to dictate the way you feel. Today was one of those occasions where you win by 20 and you might as well have lost that game. We know as a group we played a terrible basketball game."

Phoenix let its 33-point lead slip to 13 and committed 28 turnovers in the win.

"Turnovers; we cut half those we probably score 110 or something like that," Mercury coach Corey Gaines said.

A fast start and hot shooting helped the Western Conference-leading Mercury (15-6) overcome the turnovers.

Taurasi scored 17 in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting and hit a buzzer-beating shot from three-quarters court at the end of the first half to give Phoenix a 47-24 lead at the break.

Pondexter, third in the league in scoring, had only two points on 1-for-8 shooting against Atlanta. She bounced back to make 8 of 15 against the Lynx as Phoenix shot 54 percent (35 for 65).

Meanwhile, Minnesota, the league's third-highest scoring team, shot just 29 percent (20 for 70) from the field - including 3 for 22 on 3-pointers.

Rookie Quanitra Hollingsworth had a season-high 17 points and Candice Wiggins scored 14 points for the Lynx (10-10), who have lost five of their last six.

"We just have to find ourselves again," Minnesota coach Jennifer Gillom said. "I would have been worried had we not fought back. That shows a sign of life in this team. They want to win."

Minnesota had beaten Phoenix in the last two meetings, including a 29-point victory at home on June 27.

The Mercury also added to their league-leading offense with the return of Penny Taylor to the lineup. The first-team All-WNBA player in 2007 when the Mercury won the WNBA title played for the first time since resigning with the team two weeks ago.

She had reconstructive surgery on her left ankle this spring and had skipped the 2008 season to play for the Australian national team at the Beijing Olympics.

Taylor, who averaged a career-high 17.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in 2007, played almost 10 minutes, scoring two points.

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