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Lynx snap Mercury's winning streak, 99-86

Jul 23, 2009 - 5:06 AM PHOENIX(AP) -- Nicky Anosike scored 21 points and Roneeka Hodges added 20 as the Minnesota Lynx beat Phoenix 99-86 on Wednesday night to snap the Mercury's six-game winning streak.

The Mercury played without all-star Diana Taurasi, who was serving the second game of the two-game suspension she received from the team after being cited on drunken-driving related charges.

Minnesota (10-7) nearly lost a 16-point third-quarter lead but Hodges hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the fourth period to help the Lynx pull away.

"I just thought they did a really good job and took advantage of the situation that was at hand," Minnesota coach Jennifer Gillom said. "You dont have Diana Taurasi in the lineup, you have to take a win."

All-Star Cappie Pondexter led the first-place Mercury (12-5) with 28 points.

The Mercury beat Detroit in overtime in the first game without Taurasi, last Saturday.

"I was thinking 1-1 was good so I'll take that," Phoenix coach Corey Gaines said of the split without the league's leading scorer.

Taurasi had been scheduled to be in court earlier Wednesday, but that hearing was postponed until Aug. 21.

The Lynx led 45-34 at the break and by 16 in the first two minutes of the second half until Phoenix ran off eight straight points.

On Sunday, Minnesota led Seattle by eight with 6:06 to play but faded and lost 72-69.

"I think that we are just starting to learn from our mistakes," Hodges said. "(Against) Seattle we were in kind of a similar situation and we just blew it. Today we stayed focused, we kept our composure and we got the job done."

Late in the quarter, Candice Wiggins was fouled by Tameka Johnson on her way to the basket but grabbed Johnson's jersey and was whistled for a technical.

Gillom protested and was given a technical as well. The Mercury made their free throws while Wiggins missed hers and Pondexter's 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the third quarter got Phoenix within 70-68.

But Wiggins' 3-pointer with 8:32 remaining put Minnesota up 80-70.

"Of course any loss is tough, I don't want to make excuses and say we didn't have the numbers," Pondexter said. "I think the lack of energy in the first half kind of put them in control for the rest of the game."

All-Star Charde Houston added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Lynx.

Tangela Smith added 23 points and rookie DeWanna Bonner got her fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix.

"D is one of our focal players, she is a huge impact," Le'Coe Willingham said of Taurasi. "But at the same time, we have overcome adversity before. We miss Taurasi but we can't think about that. She's not here. Luckily, she will be back after the break and we'll have our team back."

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