PHOENIX, July 17 (AP) -- Penny Taylor scored a season-high 32 points to lead the Phoenix Mercury to an 89-79 victory over the Seattle Storm on Tuesday night.
She scored 22 points in the first half and added five more and an assist in the Mercury's 19-4 run to start the third quarter to help Phoenix (12-9) open up a 64-45 lead with 5:20 left.
Taylor made 12 of 18 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, and had seven rebounds, five steals, three assists and a blocked shot. Diana Taurasi added 18 points for the Mercury.
Lauren Jackson had 33 points and 11 rebounds for the Storm (11-10), who have lost three of their last four games and fell a game behind Phoenix for third place in the WNBA's Western Conference.
Betty Lennox added 22 points for the Storm, who played their fifth game without starting point guard Sue Bird. The leading vote-getter for last Sunday's All-Star game underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee July 6. She was second in the league in assists at 5.0 per game before the injury.
Taylor came in averaging 16.7 points a game, but has scored 24.8 points in the last nine outings.
The Storm made seven of their first 11 shots, but ended the night 28-of-71 (39.4 percent) from the field.
Seattle took a 19-6 lead, but Phoenix scored the next 16 points to take go ahead for good.