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Taurasi scores 31 to help Mercury beat Lynx 99-88

Jun 11, 2010 - 4:17 AM PHOENIX(AP) -- Diana Taurasi scored 31 points, including the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to help the Phoenix Mercury beat the Minnesota Lynx 99-88 Thursday night.

Penny Taylor had 24 points, Candice Dupree scored 14, Temeka Johnson 13 and Tangela Smith 12 to help the Mercury (4-5) get their second win in six games. Johnson also had 10 assists.

Taurasi was 5 for 9 on 3-pointers as the league's top team from beyond the arc made 14 of 34.

Rookie Monica Wright scored 21 points to lead the Lynx (2-8), who have lost three straight and eight of the last nine. Candice Wiggins had 19 points, Rebekkah Brunson 15 and Nicky Anosike 14.

Seimone Augustus scored 13 points in her season debut for Minnesota after recovering from three fibroids removed from her abdomen and lower back in April.

The Mercury (4-5) erased an eight-point deficit in the final 5 minutes of the third quarter and Taurasi hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first 2 minutes of the fourth. She finished with 17 points in the final quarter.

Phoenix, which came in shooting 37 percent on 3s, used the long shot in a 21-5 run in the third period to erase a 60-52 deficit. Taylor and Smith each hit a pair of 3s during the spurt that gave the Mercury a 74-65 advantage with 30 seconds left in the quarter.

Taurasi's layup with 7:29 left gave Phoenix an 84-67 lead but Wright capped a 9-0 run to get Minnesota to 87-78 but the Lynx got no closer.

The Mercury hit six of their first seven shots and ran out to a 16-4 lead in the first 4 minutes and led by 15 in the first quarter. However, Wright score nine points in the first 4 minutes of the second quarter and Wiggins capped a 9-0 run to get Minnesota even at 40-all with 2:53 left.

Wright led the Lynx with 13 points as Minnesota took a 48-46 lead at the break.