Sun spoil Mercury star Taurasi's return from back injury

Connecticut Sun center Jonquel Jones, center, works between Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi, left, and forward Dewanna Bonner for a rebound during the first half of WNBA basketball game Friday, July 12, 2019, in Uncasville, Conn. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day via AP)
Connecticut Sun guard Rachel Banham, right, defends against Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi during a WNBA basketball game Friday, July 12, 2019, in Uncasville, Conn. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day via AP)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Alyssa Thomas had 20 points and 10 rebounds and the Connecticut Sun beat the Phoenix Mercury 79-64 on Friday night to spoil Diana Taurasi's season debut.

Taurasi, the former UConn star and the WNBA's career scoring leader, played 16 minutes and scored five points —all from the free-throw line — in her first game since offseason back surgery.

Connecticut (10-6), which outscored Phoenix by 21 points in the second half, had three players finish with a double-double for the third time in team history. Jonquel Jones had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Courtney Williams added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Jasmine Thomas and Shekinna Stricklen added 11 points apiece to help Connecticut avoid its first six-game losing streak since 2016.

DeWanna Bonner had 20 points and eight rebounds for Phoenix (7-7), and Brittney Griner added 10 points with three blocks. The Mercury had won five of their last six games.

DREAM 60, LYNX 53

ATLANTA — Elizabeth Williams scored 17 points, Alex Bentley added 10, including a late 3-pointer, and Atlanta beat Minnesota to spoil Sylvia Fowles' history-making game.

Fowles had 12 points and 12 rebounds, giving her 157 career double-doubles to tie the WNBA record set by Lisa Leslie (1997-2009).

Williams was 6-of-9 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. The rest of the Atlanta players shot just 18 of 62 from the field.

Atlanta (5-10) snapped Minnesota's streak of road wins when holding an opponent below 40% shooting, dating to 2014, at 27.

Danielle Robinson led the Lynx (9-7) with 14 points.

STORM 85, WINGS 81

SEATTLE — Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 8 points and Injury-plagued Seattle Storm cruised PAST Dallas to snap a three-game skid.

The defending champion Storm were without three-fifths of last year's starting lineup: reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart (Achilles), Sue Bird (knee) and Jewell Loyd (ankle) — who was named an All-Star game starter Thursday.

Jordin Canada and Natasha Howard scored 14 points apiece, Mercedes Russell added 13 and Sami Whitcomb 12 for Seattle (9-8). Canada also had a career-high 12 assists.

Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings (5-10) with 23 points.

SPARKS 90, FEVER 84

INDIANAPOLIS — Nneka Ogwumike had 22 points, six rebounds and six steals to lead Los Angeles past Indiana.

Candace Parker sat out for Los Angeles (8-7) because of an ankle injury.

Chiney Ogwumike added 19 points and nine rebounds to help Los Angeles snap a three-game road losing streak. Chelsea Gray had 15 points and six assists. Los Angeles led 45-35 at halftime and scored 31 points in the third quarter for a 76-52 advantage.

Erica Wheeler and Shenise Johnson each scored 11 points for Indiana (6-11).

SKY 99, LIBERTY 83

CHICAGO — Courtney Vandersloot scored 17 points and tied her season high with 12 assists in Chicago's victory over New York.

Jantel Lavender also scored 17 points for the Sky (8-8). Diamond DeShields added 16 points, Allie Quigley 14 and Stefanie Dolson had 13 points and nine rebounds. Kia Nurse led New York (7-9) with 18 points.

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