Mercury beat Sparks 104-89

LOS ANGELES(AP) Cappie Pondexter scored 21 points and Diana Taurasi had 20, leading the Phoenix Mercury to a 104-89 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday night.

Taurasi added a season-high six assists, five rebounds and three blocks in her first game for the Mercury (8-4) since being cited for drunk driving Thursday morning.

DeWanna Bonner had 17 points and 10 rebounds as Phoenix took a half-game lead over second-place Minnesota in the WNBA's Western Conference.

The Sparks' Candace Parker made her season debut after being cleared to play Tuesday. Parker, who gave birth to a daughter on May 13, had six points and four rebounds in 20 minutes. She was the league's MVP and top rookie last season.

Tina Thompson and Betty Lennox scored 17 points apiece for the Sparks (3-6). DeLisha Milton-Jones tied a season high with 15 points, all in the first half.

Los Angeles held a 53-45 lead with 38 seconds gone in the second half, but Bonner had 12 points and six rebounds in the third quarter. The Mercury led 81-70 at the end of the period.

Phoenix began the fourth quarter with an 11-0 spurt. The Mercury also made 31 of 37 free throws in the game.

Calendar Strip here