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Cloud has 23 and 9 assists, Sykes also scores 23; Mystics beat Mercury 84-69

WASHINGTON (AP) — Natasha Cloud scored 23 points and had nine assists, Brittney Sykes also scored 23 points and the short-handed Washington Mystics beat Phoenix 84-69 Sunday, extending the Mercury’s road losing streak to seven games.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 13 points for Washington (12-10).

Phoenix (6-16), which is 1-10 away from home this season, has the longest active road losing streak in the WNBA. The Mercury had won back-to-back games (for the first time this season) and three of their last four.

Two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne (left ankle sprain), Shakira Austin (left hip strain), Ariel Atkins (left ankle sprain) — all regular starters who combine to account for approximately 40% of Washington’s scoring this season — and Kristi Tolliver (plantar fasciitis) did not play for the Mystics.

Sykes made a driving basket with 4:52 left in the first quarter that gave the Mystics the lead for good and sparked an 8-0 run, capped when Tianna Hawkins scored to make it 17-10. Sophie Cunningham hit a 3-pointer that trimmed the Mercury’s deficit to 30-28 midway through the second quarter but Cloud and Walker-Kimbrough each scored five points in a 10-1 spurt over the next three minutes and the Mystics led by double figures the rest of the way.

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Washington scored 22 points off 19 Mercury turnovers. Phoenix went into to the game averaging a league-high 17.3 turnovers per game this season — 1.8 more than any other team.

Cloud scored 19 of her points on 7-of-9 shooting in the first half as the Mystics took a 46-31 lead into the break.

Cunningham hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting for Phoenix. Brittney Griner and Megan Gustafson each scored 12 points and Moriah Jefferson 11.

Diana Taurasi (quad/toe) missed her second consecutive game for Phoenix.

AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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