Dupree and Bonner score 22 points each as Mercury hand Sun seventh straight loss, 76-68

Candice Dupree and DeWanna Bonner each scored 22 points as the Phoenix Mercury beat Connecticut 76-68 Saturday night, handing the Sun their seventh straight loss.

The Mercury (15-13) outscored the Sun 14-4 over the final 4½ minutes to earn their fifth win in seven games under interim coach Russ Pennell.

Tina Charles had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Sun (7-22), who were eliminated from the playoff race with the loss.

Brittney Griner had two baskets in the first 90 seconds but didn't score again until making a key short turnaround jumper with 1:31 left to give Phoenix a 71-66 lead. She finished with six points and eight rebounds.

Dupree added nine rebounds while Diana Taurasi had 10 points and eight assists for Phoenix, which will clinch a playoff berth with its next win or a San Antonio loss.

The Sun had lost their previous six games by an average of 15 points, but led 64-62 after Charles' left hook with 6:08 left.

Although Phoenix led by six with 2:58 left in the third, the teams were tied at 56 going into the final quarter.

Phoenix opened up an early lead as the Sun faltered from the field, trailing 21-12 late in the first period. However, Connecticut scored eight straight points in the second quarter and Tan White's desperation 27-footer at the buzzer gave the Sun a 37-36 advantage at the break.

Charles had a double-double halfway through the second quarter after grabbing 11 rebounds and scoring 10 points with 5 minutes left in the half.

Phoenix has won five of its last seven but three of those came against last-place Tulsa.