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Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner lead Mercury over Storm

PHOENIX – Diana Taurasi had 20 points and seven assists to lead the Phoenix Mercury to an 87-72 win Tuesday night over the Seattle Storm.

Brittney Griner added 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Mercury (4-1), who led by 15 in the second half and ran off five straight points early in the fourth to keep the advantage in double figures for the final eight minutes.

Crystal Langhorne had 27 points and six rebounds for Seattle (2-6), which has lost three of the last four.

Phoenix held Sue Bird to 1-of-10 shooting and two assists in 33 minutes. She had five points. She had made only 5 of 23 from the field in her previous two games.

Candice Dupree added 19 points for the Mercury, who beat Seattle 81-64 in Phoenix’s season opener. The Storm swept the Mercury last season.

Shekinna Stricklen added 13 points and four rebounds off the bench for the Storm. Camille Little scored 14 points for Seattle.

Phoenix is off to its best five-game start since the Mercury did the same thing en route to titles in 2007 and 2009. They won back-to-back games against Seattle for the first time since the 2009 season.

Phoenix opened up a 53-38 lead in the third quarter but Seattle made 10 straight free throws at the end of the period to stay within 65-57 going into the fourth.

Griner had 12 points and four rebounds in the first half to help the Mercury take a 43-34 at the break.