Taylor lifts Mercury past Storm in OTAug 5, 2009 - 5:33 AM SEATTLE(AP) -- Just 12 weeks removed form reconstruction surgery on her right ankle, Penny Taylor probably shouldn't even have been playing.
Taylor scored seven points of her 18 points in overtime, including a key 3-pointer with 1:03 remaining, to lift the Phoenix Mercury to a 101-90 over the Seattle Storm on Tuesday night.
"The doctors said I shouldn't play her, but I kind of didn't listen," Mercury coach Corey Gaines said.
Taylor, who rejoined the Mercury on July 17 and made her season debut on Saturday, played 19 minutes, including all five in overtime.
"That's more a doctor's rule than mine. I don't really keep an eye on the clock," said Taylor, who skipped the 2008 season to play for the Australian national team at the Beijing Olympics.
said. "It was feeling good. If I had a problem, I'd let him know."
Diana Taurasi scored 19 points to lead Phoenix (16-6), which has won 10 of its last 12 to take a three-game lead over Seattle in the Western Conference. Cappie Pondexter added 16 points, Temeka Johnson had 15 and Tangela Smith 14 for the Mercury, who are one of just three teams in the league with a winning road record (7-4).
"I want to act shocked, surprised, but that's Penny. When she gets going she's tough to stop," Taurasi said. "She still has some time yet to get her timing down and strength back but games like this can only help."
Tanisha Wright scored a season-high 25 points and Camille Little had 20 to lead the Storm (12-8). Lauren Jackson added 18 points, Sue Bird had 13 and All-Star game MVP Swin Cash 12. Jackson and Cash also had 11 rebounds each.
"(The Mercury) pretty much got on top of us early in the overtime and we couldn't get back," Jackson said. "I'm sure when we play them next time it will be a different outcome. I think that Penny really hurt us."
Phoenix appeared to have the game in hand with a 74-67 lead with 6:07 left in regulation until the Storm scrambled back.
Bird converted a three-point play with 1:15 left to pull Seattle to 81-78. After a miss by the Mercury, Little hit a tying 3-pointer with 44.7 seconds left.
Taurasi made three of four free throws to give the Mercury an 84-81 lead with 16.2 seconds left. However, Bird tied it with a 3 with 5.6 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. Referees used replays to confirm the shot was a 3-pointer.
"When Sue hit that 3, that could take all the wind out of you and completely knock you out. At home, they're not easy to beat, especially in overtime," Taurasi said. "We just stuck together, made some plays, got some stops and the game kind of went our way."
Jackson, averaging 19.1 points per game, was held without a field goal on four attempts in the first half. Cash, second on the Storm at 12.3 points per game, had just three points in the opening half.
Wright took over the scoring load by matching her previous season high of 21 before halftime. She made 7 of 11 attempts and was 6 for 6 at the line in the half.
Phoenix took a 32-28 lead on Temeka Johnson's 3-pointer at 6:16 of the second period.
A fastbreak 3 by Bird after a turnover by the Mercury started a 6-0 run to give the Storm a 34-32 lead.
Phoenix then went on an 11-0 run, sparked by back-to-back 3s by Kelly Mazzante and Taurasi with less than 3 minutes left.
Seattle chipped its way back. Jackson scored her first points of the half with a pair of free throws with 1.37 left. She had four at the break.
Wright closed the half with a three-point play with 7.8 seconds left as Phoenix held a 45-43 lead at halftime.
The Mercury won the teams' first meeting, 93-80, on July 1 in Phoenix. A few hours later, Taurasi was arrested on DUI charges and then served a two-game suspension before the All-Star game last month.
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