Taurasiís 37 Points Leads Mercury Past Comets

Phoenix 111, Houston 85

PHOENIX, May 25 (AP) -- Diana Taurasi scored 37 points, including 10 during a key three-minute stretch of the third quarter Friday night, to lead the Phoenix Mercury to a 111-85 victory over the Houston Comets.

Taurasi, who has scored 30 points 10 times in her three-year WNBA career, hit two 3-pointers and made four throws during the third-quarter stretch during which Phoenix (2-1) opened a 69-59 lead. The Comets didn't get closer than nine the rest of the way.

Taurasi was 11-of-18 from the field, making six 3-pointers. She had four assists.

Tina Thompson had 32 points and seven rebounds for Houston (0-2). She was 6-for-6 from the field in the first half, including three 3s, and finished 11-for-16.

Cappie Pondexter added 22 points and Penny Taylor had 18 for the Mercury, who averaged a WNBA-record 87.1 points last season.

Houston was 10-of-37 from the field in the second half after shooting 44 percent in the first half. Phoenix led 50-47 at halftime.

Rookie Ashley Shields came off the bench to score 21 points while Phoenix held nine-year veteran Sheryl Swoopes to 1-of-7 shooting and two points, 13 under her 2006 average. Swoopes had seven assists and four rebounds.

Phoenix's 111 points was one shy of the franchise record set Aug. 3, 2006.