UNCASVILLE, Conn. Diana Taurasi scored 26 points to lead the Phoenix Mercury to a 65-58 win over the Connecticut Sun on Saturday in her second pro game and first in the state where she led UConn to three straight NCAA titles.
Taurasi drew a standing ovation during introductions from the sellout crowd of 9,341. Dozens of fans wore her familiar UConn jersey and there were countless signs welcoming her back. Despite wearing the opponent's colors, she drew cheers each time she scored en route to spoiling the Sun's season opener.
Phoenix selected Taurasi with the first pick in the WNBA draft last month. Anna DeForge added 17 points and had six assists for the Mercury.
Taj McWilliams-Franklin led Connecticut with 14 points. Wendy Palmer scored 10 points and had a team-high 10 boards for the Sun.
Sting 71, Mystics 68
WASHINGTON Allison Feaster made a 17-foot jumper with 1:08 remaining to put Charlotte ahead and the Sting went on to beat Washington.
Feaster scored 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, and was one of five Charlotte players in double figures. Her late jumper made the score 69-68.
Mystics rookie Alana Beard missed a potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds.
The former Duke All-American hit just 3-for-10 from the floor to finish with 10 points in her WNBA debut.
Tynesha Lewis scored 16 points and Dawn Staley added 12 for the Sting.
Chamique Holdsclaw scored 25 points for Washington, and Tamicha Jackson added 17.
Former NBA guard Michael Adams also made his WNBA coaching debut for Washington.
Lynx 69, Monarchs 61
SACRAMENTO, Calif. Katie Smith scored 20 of her 22 points in the second half, helping Minnesota to a victory.
Smith kept Minnesota ahead late in the game, making a jumper with 1:17 left, then with the shot clock running down, she threw in a 26-foot 3-pointer for a 67-59 lead.
Amanda Lassiter had 15 points, Tamika Williams added nine points and 10 rebounds, and Teresa Edwards scored nine and had seven assists for the Lynx, who closed the game with a 15-4 run.
DeMya Walker scored 19 points for Sacramento, which drew 17,317 for its home opener. Yolanda Griffith added 13 points for the Monarchs.
Storm 93, Sparks 67
SEATTLE Betty Lennox scored 20 points and Seattle Storm tied a franchise high for points against Los Angeles.
Lennox sparked the Storm's 10-2 run early in the second half. Later, she hit a 3-pointer with 12 minutes left to make it 57-44 and Seattle cruised from there.
Lauren Jackson, the reigning WNBA MVP, had 16 points for Seattle and Sheri Sam added 14.
Lisa Leslie scored 20 points for the Sparks, which dropped only their second season opener in franchise history. Mwadi Mabika added 15 points and had four rebounds.
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