Nykesha Sales scored 22 points and Lindsay Whalen added a career-high 20 to lead the Connecticut Sun to a 77-69 win last night over the host Phoenix Mercury.
''We really wanted this game," Sales said. ''We didn't want to look and say, we can take this 'L' because we did play a back-to-back and we have been on the road. We wanted to finish this road trip really, really strong."
The Sun, who won three of four on a six-day road trip, made nine of 10 free throws in the final 8:33 after former UConn standout Diana Taurasi had tied the game at 49 with a 3-pointer. Taurasi led all scorers with 28 points.
Sales, another former UConn standout, playing with five fouls, scored 10 points during a 13-4 Connecticut run to help the Sun (10-2) get a 72-61 lead with 2:01 left. She scored 14 points in the second half.
''They really stepped up and played," said Connecticut assistant coach Bernadette Mattox, filling in while head coach Mike Thibault attended his mother's funeral.
Whalen was 12 for 12 from the free throw line.
Phoenix (3-10) has lost five of its last six games and fell into a tie for last place in the Western Conference with San Antonio.
The Sun played without starting guard Katie Douglas, who had the flu.
''The game we played [Friday] night was hard," Mattox said. ''And to walk in here without your head coach and one of your starters -- I'm really proud of them."
Taj McWillliams-Franklin added 15 points for the Sun.
''[The Mercury] did a lot of great things tonight, but we made free throws and shots down the stretch and that's what got us the win," Whalen said.
Sting 67, Liberty 61 -- Dawn Staley scored 16 points, including a pair of free throws with 14.3 seconds left, to help host Charlotte snap a six-game losing streak with a victory over New York.
Tammy Sutton-Brown added 16 points and eight rebounds, Tangela Smith scored 16 points, and Staley finished with eight assists for the Sting (2-9), who shot 51 percent and avoided matching the worst start in team history.
Staley, who was benched for the final 13 minutes of Charlotte's loss to San Antonio Thursday, converted two free throws to give the Sting a 65-61 lead. New York's Becky Hammon missed a 3-point attempt on the next possession.
Shameka Christon scored a career-high 19 points, and Ann Wauters added 16 points for the Liberty (5-5).
Comets 62, Silver Stars 44 -- Sheryl Swoopes scored 15 points and led host Houston over San Antonio.
Michelle Snow added 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, helping the Comets improve to 3-0 this season against the struggling Silver Stars.
Janeth Arcain (6 for 6 from the free throw line) finished with 14 points for the Comets (6-5).
Katie Feenstra came off the bench and scored a team-high 13 points for the Silver Stars (3-11).