The Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks met for the second time in three days on Friday. While the Sparks won the first meeting, the Mercury controlled the game in the second meeting.
The Phoenix Mercury (6-7) easily dispatched the Los Angeles Sparks (5-6) 80-66 on a night with just one game being played across the league. The victory ended a four game winless streak for the Mercury, as they avenged a loss against the Sparks from just two days earlier. Skylar Diggins-Smith led all scorers with 21 points, her seventh 20-point game of the year.
The Mercury’s defense was ready to play, holding the Sparks below 40 percent shooting and was able to generate 14 points off of 12 Sparks turnovers. Britney Griner scored 14 points while Brianna Turner had a season-high 15 points, with each player recording eight rebounds. Additionally, Megan Walker scored 10 points off the bench.
Erica Wheeler led the Sparks with 17 points after scoring 18 points against the Mercury earlier in the week. Brittney Sykes contributed 14 points off the bench, with Bria Holmes rounding out the double-figure scorers for Los Angeles with 11. Kristi Toliver was relatively ineffective, scoring just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting. Her 0-of-2 performance from the beyond the arc put an end to a six-game streak with at least one made 3-point shot.
The Sparks also managed to force 12 turnovers and were able to generate 21 points off the turnovers, but it was their inability to find consistent offense that gave the Mercury a relatively easy win. The Sparks struggled with fouls as well, as they committed 25 that led to 31 free throw attempts of which the Mercury made 25. Phoenix led by as a many 18 points in the second half.
The Sparks take the court again at home on June 20 at 4 p.m. ET against the New York Liberty. The Mercury face a nine-day layoff before playing the Sparks in Phoenix, AZ on June 27 at 6 p.m. ET.