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Mercury rise to challenge in D.C., beat Mystics

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Penny Taylor and Kelly Miller had their top performances
of the season -- so far.

They each scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Phoenix
Mercury to a 96-83 victory over the Washington Mystics on
Wednesday.

"I think its important for everyone to play well and play
together," Miller said. "I think we did that today."

The Mercury, in sixth place in the Western Conference, got 18
points from Diana Taurasi, who had five personal fouls for most of
the second half. Cappie Pondexter had eight points in her first
game back after missing two with tendinitis in her left knee.

"I think that one of the best things about this team is that
there are so many offensive threats," Taylor said. "I think that
takes a bit of the pressure off Cappie and Diana. They're not going
to shoot so well every night."

Washington's Alana Beard scored 23 points, including 10 in an
18-5 spurt that gave the Mystics a 70-65 third-quarter lead. Taylor
scored eight points in the fourth to help Phoenix regain the lead.

Nikki Teasley had 14 points and Chasity Melvin had 11 points and
12 rebounds for the Mystics, whose 17 turnovers led to 18
Phoenix points.

"We were just careless with the ball," Mystics coach Richie
Adubato said. "I thought we missed some shots that we could've
made, but the turnovers killed us. When you look at it, it was a
pretty even game -- except for turnovers."

DeLisha Milton-Jones made an early return to the Mystics'
lineup. Expected to miss most of the regular season, she scored
nine points and picked up a technical foul in her first game since
spraining her left knee against New York on June 17.

Kamila Vodichkova was a late scratch for Phoenix with an
unspecified leg injury.