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NY's Pondexter ejected, Mercury win 97-82

PHOENIX (AP) — Candice Dupree had 24 points and nine rebounds to help the Phoenix Mercury to a 97-82 win Saturday night over the New York Liberty and former teammate Cappie Pondexter, who was ejected in the third quarter.

Pondexter, who won the 2007 and 2009 WNBA titles with Phoenix, smacked Penny Taylor in the face as she went up for a layup with 9:06 left in the third quarter.

Taylor got up and looked as if she would retaliate, but players and officials got in between the two. Pondexter got a flagrant 2 foul and Taylor received a technical.

Tangela Smith added 21 points and 10 rebounds and Taurasi had 20 points and five assists for Phoenix (6-11), which snapped a six-game losing streak.

Pondexter finished with 21 points and five rebounds for the Liberty (7-8). Plenette Pierson scored 13 of her 18 points after Pondexter was tossed.

The fourth-year guard from Rutgers played her first three seasons in Phoenix before being traded to New York was part in a three-team deal that sent Dupree to Phoenix.

She received her championship ring and warm greetings from the Mercury in a short ceremony before the game.