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Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ – The Phoenix Mercury (7-3) defeat the Las Vegas Aces (1-7) behind great efforts from Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi and Dewanna Bonner.
The Mercury are 7-0 when all three of those players score at least 12 points. This is the fifth victory in a row for the Mercury.
Phoenix and Las Vegas both came out executing well on the offensive end of the floor. Vegas was able to find some openings early in the game through penetration and pick-and-roll but struggled to stop the Mercury on the other end.
Phoenix depended on their “big three” in Griner, Taurasi and Bonner early on. Phoenix’s ball movement was the key in the first quarter. The ball movement led to easy buckets as Phoenix shot 58% from the field in the first quarter. The Mercury led 26-18 at the end of the first period.
The second quarter started off with more of the same as Taurasi was aggressive driving to the goal and taking advantage of open three-pointers.
The Aces stayed composed and worked through rookie A’Ja Wilson and were able to keep the game from getting out of hand.
Vegas cut the lead to four points at one point during the second quarter but the Mercury would quickly expand the lead. Phoenix led by 13, 50-37 at the end the first half as Bonner had 12 points, Griner had 14 and Taurasi had 15.
The third quarter began with Phoenix and Vegas alternating baskets. The Aces strung together a few good defensive possessions after the mid-point of the quarter but found it hard to take advantage.
Taurasi came out aggressive again to start the fourth quarter scoring Phoenix’s first four points.
The Aces were able to stay within striking distance with good defensive play by forcing the Mercury into shots at the end of the shot clock. They were able to cut the lead to four points with a little over three minutes left in the game.
Griner made some key blocks down the stretch in the fourth quarter to keep the Mercury ahead. Taurasi hit a clutch three-pointer after struggling from beyond the arch all game with just over a minute left to secure the win 72-66.
“If you don’t shoot you can’t make them. I spend too much time in the gym to have a bad half or a bad quarter and then just stop,” stated Taurasi.
Taurasi finished with 25 points. Griner had a double-double adding 19 points and 15 rebounds to go along with seven block shots.
Wilson led the Aces with 17 points and Kayla McBride had 16 points.
Phoenix will travel to Dallas on Tuesday to face the Wings.