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Sparks pummel Mercury in playoff preview

Candace Parker and Jantel Lavender each scored 16 points and the Los Angeles Sparks cruised past the Phoenix Mercury, 89-55, in a prelude to their Western Conference semifinal series.

The second-seeded Sparks, who finished the regular season with a 24-10 record, will have home-court advantage in their best-of-three Western Conference series against the third-seeded Mercury, with Game 1 set for Thursday.

Nneka Ogwumike, Kristi Toliver and Lindsey Harding chipped in 12 points apiece for Los Angeles, which jumped out to a 30-11 lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 38.

Brittney Griner had a team-high nine points along with Jasmine James for the Mercury, who went 19-15 on the season.