Toliver scores 29 to lead Sparks past Mercury



PHOENIX (AP) — Kristi Toliver scored a career-high 29 points as the Los Angeles Sparks took a big lead early and cruised to a 93-84 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday night.

Alana Beard added 18 points and Jantel Lavender 11 points and nine rebounds for the Sparks (10-3), who led by 22 at halftime. Los Angeles has won eight of 10, including three straight after losing back-to-back games last weekend.

Rookie Sammy Prahalis scored a season-high 22 points and had five assists and four steals while DeWanna Bonner had 24 points for the Mercury (3-8). Phoenix, which pulled within seven points in the final 2 minutes, has lost four of its last five.

Candace Parker, the league’s third-leading scorer at 19.8 points a game, did not play for the Sparks due to a sore knee.