Tuesday night featured the first game of the WNBA Playoff semi finals between the Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks. Phoenix had their work cut out for them visiting the home court of the defending champions. In the latest game, all five of the L.A. starters scored in double-digits to help achieve a 13-point win. Here's the latest WNBA game recap with top performers, statistics, and a look at when the next games will be for this series.

WNBA game recap

After eight days off, it was a shaky start for the defending champions, but they ultimately were able to rally back.

The Mercury opened the first quarter ahead 23-19, but the Sparks matched that in the second to make it a tie game at the half. In the third quarter, L.A. held Phoenix to just six points total compared to 14 for the home team. The fourth quarter saw L.A. pull away 23-18 for the 79-66 final score.

In their win, the Los Angeles Sparks received 19 points and nine rebounds from reigning WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike. She shot 8-for-14 in the game and also had three steals to outplay Brittney Griner in the win. Candace Parker added 15 points, six boards, and three assists, while Chelsea Gray scored 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting. Gray also dished out six assists and had two steals in the victory.

The Phoenix Mercury were led by guard Leilani Mitchell who shot 5-for-10 overall which all came from three-point range.

She finished with 19 points in the game along with four assists. Britney Griner had 18 points but was only able to grab two boards and fouled out with just under five minutes left in the game. WNBA All-Star Diana Taurasi was held to just six points on 2-for-10 shooting.

For the game, L.A. shot 29-for-67 or 43.3 percent overall with a 26.7 percent rate of hitting 3-pointers.

The Phoenix Mercury shot just 38.2 percent and had a 44.4 percent rate from long range. Phoenix outrebounded the home team 34-30, but they also had six more turnovers than them, leading to L.A. capitalizing on the mistakes.

During the game, things got a bit chippy at one point with double technicals called on Emma Cannon of Phoenix and Essence Carson of L.A.

after the two players exchanged words. No ejections occurred.

Next game

L.A. now holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five game series. The two teams meet again at the Staples Center for Game 2 of the WNBA semifinals series on Thursday. Game time is scheduled for 10 p.m. Eastern Time. ESPN2 will show the game on national TV. The winner of this series moves on to play either Washington or Minnesota. The Lynx currently lead that series 1-0.