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Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike (30) tries to get the ball from Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner (42) during the first half of a playoff game Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Stephen Carr/Los Angeles Daily News via AP)

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LOS ANGELES — Nneka Ogwumike scored 19 points to lead five starters in double figures, and the Los Angeles Sparks opened defense of their WNBA championship with a 79-66 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the semifinals.

By Associated Press September 12, 2017