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Mystics Roll Over Mercury 77-56

June 22, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Alana Beard scored 19 points, and the Washington Mystics pulled away in a second half that featured four technical fouls to beat the Phoenix Mercury 77-56 Tuesday night.

Beard made three jumpers in a 17-3 run that broke open a close game against the Mercury, who went cold after rallying to tie the score early in the second half.

The victory gave the Mystics their first winning streak of the season. They have also won four straight at home.

Anna DeForge scored 18 points and Diana Taurasi added 16 for the Mercury, but 30 of their combined 34 points came in the first half. The pair got little help, with the rest of the team shooting 8-for-28 from the field. The Mercury have lost three of four.

Taurasi was involved _ directly or indirectly _ in all four technicals in a heated second half.

First, when Taurasi drew a foul backing in on Temeka Johnson, Mystics coach Richie Adubato called timeout and walked halfway across the court to yell at an official, drawing a technical.

A few minutes later, Taurasi threw elbows to knock down two Mystics players after grabbing a rebound. Taurasi was given an offensive foul, and coach Carrie Graf was given a technical for arguing.

Then, after the Mystics had taken control of the game, Taurasi and DeLisha Milton-Jones were involved in an altercation that ended with Milton-Jones charging Taurasi at midcourt. Washington’s Chasity Melvin intervened to keep the scene from getting uglier. Taurasi and Milton-Jones were given technicals, and Milton-Jones was ejected.

The Mystics led 31-19 in the first half after Laurie Koehn’s second 3-pointer, but the Mercury closed the half with a 17-7 run to cut Washington’s lead to 38-36 at the half.

The score was tied 48-48 when the Mystics started their decisive run.

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