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Twin tower duo helps Sparks snap three-game skid, knock off Mercury

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Candace Parker had 31 points and 10 rebounds, and Lisa Leslie added 25 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Los Angeles Sparks to a 91-80 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday night.

Shannon Bobbit had a career-best 11 points for the Sparks (11-6), who broke a three-game losing streak.

"I'm really excited about how we were able to get easy buckets and move the ball better," the rookie Parker said. "Our transition basketball was better. We were getting out early, running and getting in position on the defensive end."

Cappie Pondexter and Kelly Miller each scored 14 points for the Mercury (8-9), who lost their second straight after winning four consecutive games.

Tangela Smith added 12 points but Diana Taurasi, the WNBA's leading scorer, did not score until 9:37 remained. She finished with eight points.

Los Angeles held a 77-57 lead when Phoenix used a 15-2 spree to narrow the deficit to 79-72 with 3:50 to play. Pondexter and Taurasi each scored six points in the surge.

But Bobbitt and Sidney Spencer made 3-point shots in a 42-second span to extend the Sparks' advantage to 87-76 with 1:46 remaining.

"They played harder than us," Smith said. "Toward the end of the game, they took a lot of energy out of us while we were trying to play catch-up."

The Mercury made 18 turnovers that led to 19 poinst for the Sparks.