Liberty fall to Candice Dupree, Phoenix Mercury

Cappie Pondexter of the Liberty, left, talks with

Cappie Pondexter of the Liberty, left, talks with teammate Kelsey Bone during the second quarter against the San Antonio Silver Stars. (June 23, 2013) Photo Credit: Jason DeCrow

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PHOENIX - Candice Dupree scored 20 points, including six straight in a key third-quarter sequence, and grabbed seven rebounds, leading the Phoenix Mercury past the New York Liberty 94-87 Tuesday night for the Mercury's fifth straight win.

DaWanna Bonner went 5 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc and also had 20 points for the Mercury, who have won eight of nine since losing their first three games of the season.

Cappie Pondexter led the Liberty with 17 points and six rebounds. New York has lost three of its last four.

Diana Taurasi, just chosen WNBA Western Conference player of the month, added 16 points and 10 assists on an off-shooting night (5 of 14). Top overall draft pick Brittney Griner had 18 points and five rebounds for the Mercury.

Katie Smith had 13 points and Leilani Mitchell 11 points for New York, which turned over the ball 14 times, leading to 21 Mercury points.

The Liberty had nine first-half turnovers and trailed 46-41 at the break. Bonner hit four 3-pointers in the second quarter to pace the Mercury.

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Dupree hit two jumpers and a put-back during a 55-second stretch of the third quarter to cap a 16-4 run that put the Mercury in control. Phoenix opened a 77-62 lead going into the final period after Penny Taylor's 3-pointer late. The Liberty did close within six in the final minute.

The Liberty rebounded from a slow start to score seven straight points and were tied at 20 after one period. But Bonner hit two long shots early to give the Mercury the lead for good.

Taylor, who missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, had five points and four assists in 12 minutes for Phoenix.

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