Mercury 96

(10-12, 4-7 away)

Mystics 83

(11-11, 8-3 home)

    11:30 AM ET, July 19, 2006

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 27 21 21 2796
    WSH 17 33 21 1283

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: P. Taylor 22 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast

    Washington: A. Beard 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Phoenix Washington
    Points 96 83
    FG Made-Attempted 37-78 (.000) 31-71 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-20 (.350) 9-25 (.360)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-19 (.000) 12-16 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-35 11-34
    Assists 27 21
    Turnovers 12 17
    Steals 9 9
    Blocks 1 3
    Fast Break Points 10 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 21 (1/0)