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Liberty losing streak reaches eight games with loss to Mercury

Liberty center Tina Charles shoots as Minnesota Lynx

Liberty center Tina Charles shoots as Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) defends during the first half of a WNBA basketball game on Tuesday in White Plains, N.Y. Credit: AP/Kathy Willens

PHOENIX — DeWanna Bonner scored 17 of her 30 points in the fourth quarter and had 10 rebounds to help the Phoenix Mercury beat New York 78-72 on Sunday, extending the Liberty's losing streak to eight games.

Leilani Mitchell scored 17 points, and Yvonne Turner added 13 for Phoenix (13-13), which was without Brittney Griner (suspension), Diana Taurasi (back), Sancho Lyttle (knee), Essence Carson (calf) and Alanna Smith (ankle).

The Mercury have won two in a row after losing three straight and five of six.

New York (8-18) scored nine consecutive points to take an eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but Bonner scored the Mercury's final 12 points in a 16-4 run that gave Phoenix a 66-63 lead with 1:44 to play. Tanisha Wright answered with a driving layup and, after Bonner missed a three-pointer, Leilani Mitchell stole a pass and then stepped around a screen and hit a straightaway 3-pointer to make it 69-65 with 54 seconds left. Phoenix hit 7 of 8 from the free-throw line from there.

Tina Charles had 23 points — 15 in the first quarter — and 13 rebounds, and Wright scored a season-high 18 points for the Liberty.

The Mercury outscored New York 25-13 from the free-throw line.

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