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Cloud scores career-high 31, Copper adds 25 and 10 rebounds as Mercury beat Sparks 84-78

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Natasha Cloud scored a career-high 31 points, Kahleah Copper added 25 points and 10 rebounds and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Los Angeles Sparks 84-78 on Sunday.

Dearica Hamby hit a step-back 3-pointer that made it 70-67 with 5:39 to play and gave the Sparks their first lead since 10-9. Brittney Griner answered with two free throws before Copper added a driving layup.

The teams traded leads until Griner drew a double team on the block and kicked it out to Mikiah Herbert Harrigan — who made her first career start — for a wide-open 3-pointer gave Phoenix a 78-76 lead with 1:10 remaining.

Rickea Jackson’s putback made it 78-apiece with 41.1 seconds to go.

Cloud knifed into the lane and made a finger roll about 7 seconds later and, after McDonald missed from 3-point range, Cloud grabbed her career-best ninth rebound and was fouled. She hit both free throws to make it 82-78 with 23 seconds left.

Copper capped the scoring when she hit two free throws with 13 second remaining.

Phoenix (11-10) won back-to-back road games for the first time this season.

Hamby scored 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds and Rickea Jackson added a career-high 22 points for Los Angeles (5-16). Stevens made her season debut after missing 20 games due to an arm injury she suffered while playing overseas in China during the offseason and finished with 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block.

Diana Taurasi (leg) did not play for Phoenix.

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AP WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball

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