Griner, Mercury hold off Sparks
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Brittney Griner led the way with 19 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots as the Phoenix Mercury held on to defeat the Los Angeles Sparks, 76-69, on Saturday.
Mistie Bass had 10 points and 11 rebounds off the bench and Candice Dupree scored 10 for the Mercury, who recorded their 15th straight home victory and first ever season sweep of Los Angeles.
Jantel Lavender netted a game-high 22 points with nine rebounds, Farhiya Abdi scored 15 and Sandrine Gruda pulled down 10 boards for Los Angeles, which had the chance to clinch the third seed in the Western Conference with a victory.
Phoenix, which already clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, jumped out to an early 16-7 lead after DeWanna Bonner's layup capped a 10-0 run with under five minutes to play in the first quarter.
The Mercury scored another 10 unanswered points to end the frame and head into the second. Ewelina Kobryn made it a 35-15 contest three minutes into the stanza and Phoenix maintained a 20-point advantage heading into halftime.
Los Angeles, however, roared back by outscoring its opponent 18-9 in the third quarter.
Armintie Herrington's layup with 46.9 seconds to play made it a three point game, but Erin Phillips, Shay Murphy and Bass each drained a pair of free throws to seal the win for Phoenix.
08/17 07:23:29 ET