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Braxton and Taylor lead Mercury to crucial win over Sparks

Kara Braxton scored 16 points and Penny Taylor had 15 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Phoenix Mercury to a 90-84 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night.

Diana Taurasi and Candice Dupree each added 15 points and Dupree grabbed 11 rebounds for the Mercury (15-17), who broke a four-game losing streak and secured second place in the Western Conference.

Tina Thompson scored a season-high 33 points for the Sparks (12-20), who remain tied with Minnesota and San Antonio for third place. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.

Marie Ferdinand-Harris added a season-best 21 points, DeLisha Milton-Jones scored 16 points and Ticha Penicheiro had 11 assists and nine rebounds for Los Angeles.