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updated: 7/2/2011 12:12 AM

Sky drops third straight

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Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Diana Taurasi scored 24 points to lead the Phoenix Mercury past the Chicago Sky 97-84 on Friday night.

Taurasi also had six assists and went 11 of 12 from the line to help Phoenix set a franchise record with 42 made free throws -- including all but one of their 27 attempts in the second half.

The Mercury, who trailed by as many as 15 at one point, went 42 of 45 at the stripe to help offset their 31 percent shooting in the second half. Phoenix made 13 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Penny Taylor scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had two steals for Phoenix, which has won five of six after losing the first three games of the season.

Epiphanny Prince had 19 points and six assists for Chicago, which has lost three straight.

Courtney Vandersloot scored six of her 14 points in the fourth quarter for Chicago, which led for the entire first half but never regained the lead after Ketia Swanier hit a 3-pointer 17 seconds into the third quarter.

Michelle Snow added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Sky, who pulled to 65-64 with 3:49 left in the third before the Mercury scored the last eight points of the period -- making all 6 of their free throws.

Chicago went 6 for 18 from the field in the third, allowing Phoenix to build a 73-64 lead going into the final quarter.

The Mercury missed their first seven shots, while Chicago made four of its first six to grab a 13-1 lead in the first 4:43. Chicago also scored the last eight points of the period to take a 29-16 lead after the first quarter.

Prince had 11 points and Sylvia Fowles added 10 to help the Sky hold a 49-48 advantage at the half. However, DeWanna Bonner scored nine of her 11 first-half points in the final 3:08 of the second quarter to cap a 16-6 Mercury run.

Chicago has lost all six of its games played in U.S. Airways Center.