Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ – “The big three” of Brittany Griner, Diana Taurasi and Dewanna Bonner lead a short handed Phoenix Mercury (14-5) team over the Connecticut Sun (10-8), 84-77.
It was a historic night for Taurasi as she became the All-time leader in field goals made (2,632). She finished the game with 25 points.
Griner added 23 points and Bonner had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Mercury were great on defense holding the Sun to 34.6% shooting from the field.
The Mercury got off to a very hot start starting with an 8-0 run. They continued to get up and down the floor, getting Griner easy shots along with open perimeter shots for Taurasi and Briann January which lead to a 13-4 advantage.
The Sun made adjustments defensively and hit open shots to spark an 8-0 themselves.
Phoenix recovered after the run by the Sun and established control again behind aggressive play from Taurasi. The Mercury were up 23-16 behind nine points from Griner and seven points from Taurasi. Jasmine Thomas led the Sun with five points after the first quarter.
The second quarter started off with both teams executing well on the offensive end but the Sun were getting the best of the Mercury as they had closed the deficit from seven to two points with 5:42 left in the half.
Yvonne Turner added some scoring during the quarter from mid-range, sparking separation. Phoenix was able to get the lead back up to nine points by the end of the first half, 50-41. The Mercury were led by Taurasi’s 14 points and Griner’s 13 points. The Sun had a very balanced attack led by Thomas, who scored eight points in the first half.
The third quarter started off with back-and-forth action as Phoenix maintained their lead and were up by 10 points midway through the quarter.
The Mercury started turning defense into offense as turnovers led to easy transition points. Phoenix led after three quarters, 70-57.
The fourth quarter started off rocky for both squads as it took more two minutes to get a made field goal. The Phoenix Mercury did not score a point until the 5:28 mark of the fourth quarter allowing Connecticut back into the game.
A Leilani Mitchell three-point basket ended a 10-0 run by Connecticut. Bonner hit a huge three pointer to put the Mercury up four with just over three minutes left to seal the game.