Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 10/8/14

ATHENS - AUGUST 28: Diana Taurasi #12 of the United States moves against the defense of Belinda Snell #12 of Australia during the women's basketball gold medal match on August 28, 2004 during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at the Indoor Hall of the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Mercury couldn't keep up with the Los Angeles Sparks last month - and that was with Diana Taurasi in the lineup. With Taurasi day to day because of a left hip flexor strain, the visiting Mercury could be short-handed Friday night when they try to end the Sparks' three-game winning streak. Los Angeles (5-1) won 99-88 in Phoenix on May 26 as Candace Parker had 27 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Sparks rookie Nneka Ogwumike added 22 points. Taurasi scored 18 for the Mercury (2-4), but she hasn't played since. The WNBA's defending scoring champion is out indefinitely, having played just two games this season. Phoenix is 1-3 without Taurasi and could have trouble improving that record against a Los Angeles team which is quickly gaining confidence behind Parker and Ogwumike. Since their win over the Mercury, the Sparks have pulled out two nail-biters - 76-75 over Tulsa on May 29 and 67-65 over Seattle on Sunday. After Kristi Toliver hit a buzzer-beating 3-poin...
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