Wheeler’s 1st career double-double leads Sparks by Mercury


LOS ANGELES — Erica Wheeler scored 18 points, including a baseline jumper with 8.9 seconds left to seal the win, as the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Phoenix Mercury 85-80 on Wednesday night.

Wheeler dribbled down the clock at the top of the key and used a high screen to get into the lane but Phoenix center Brittney Griner guarded the rim. Wheeler continued down the baseline, created some space and sank a shot over the outstretched arm of Griner for a two-possession lead.

Wheeler, in her sixth WNBA season, finished off her first career double-double adding 10 assists and five rebounds for Los Angeles (5-5). She also reached 1,500 career points. Kristi Toliver added 17 points, Amanda Zahui B. scored 15, Brittney Sykes 14 and Bria Holmes had 10.

Zahui B. scored 13 points in the first half, Toliver added 12, and Los Angeles used a 10-0 run to help build a 53-43 lead at the break. Griner had 17 points and five rebounds in the first half for Phoenix.

Griner finished with a season-high 30 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix (5-7). It was the eighth time in Griner’s career she reached 30 points and 10 boards in a single game. Sophie Cunningham made three of her first four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. Skylar Diggins-Smith added 15 points, six rebounds and 10 assists.

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