Mercury beats Sparks 75-72 in WNBA playoffs

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Diana Taurasi hit four straight free throws in the final 40 seconds, and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Los Angeles Sparks 75-72 on Friday night in the first round of the WNBA playoffs.

Candace Parker, who led the Sparks with 22 points, threw too high for Kristi Tolliver with 7.1 seconds left, giving Phoenix the ball with a 73-70 lead. DeWanna Bonner hit her third and fourth straight foul shots down the stretch to help secure the win.

It was the sixth win of the season for Phoenix over Los Angeles, which will face elimination Sunday. A third game, if needed, would be back in Phoenix on Tuesday.

Taurasi had a personal playoff-best 34 points and Bonner added 13 for the Mercury, who had the league's best record during the regular season.

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