WNBA: Mercury get first victory, against winless Lynx
Diana Taurasi recorded 23 points and 10 assists to help the Phoenix Mercury post a 90-81 victory over the visiting Minnesota Lynx on Thursday night.
Brittney Griner added 19 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots for the Mercury (1-2). Sug Sutton added 14 points off the bench, and Sophie Cunningham and Moriah Jefferson scored 13 apiece for Phoenix.
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Aerial Powers scored 20 points off the bench for the Lynx (0-3). Diamond Miller and Jessica Shepard had 13 points apiece and Tiffany Mitchell added 12 for Minnesota.
Taurasi made 9 of 10 from the free-throw line and was 4 of 9 from 3-point range — and 5 of 12 overall — while registering her first 20-point game of the season. She was just 9 of 32 from the field, including 3 of 18 from behind the 3-point line, in Phoenix’s first two games.
The Mercury shot 49.1 percent, including 13 of 28 from 3-point range. Brianna Turner collected 11 rebounds.
Minnesota made 40 percent and was 3 of 18 from behind the arc.
Cunningham drained a 3-pointer to give the Mercury an 81-68 lead with 3:11 to play before Minnesota made one last charge.
Lindsay Allen started a 9-4 run with a 3-pointer and Shepard later made two free throws to bring the Lynx within 85-77 with 1:03 left.
However, Sutton made four free throws over a 17-second span to give Phoenix a 10-point lead with 36.1 seconds left.
The Lynx trailed by 17 at halftime but scored the first six points of the third quarter to move within 57-46.
Phoenix pushed the lead back to 13 on Sutton’s layup with 3:57 left before Minnesota scored six of the next eight points to pull within 67-60 on two free throws by Powers with 1:15 left.
Taurasi answered with a 3-pointer and Griner later added a basket as the Mercury held a 72-62 advantage entering the final stanza.
Taurasi had 15 points and six assists in the first half as the Mercury led 57-40 at the break. Powers had 12 for Minnesota.
Taurasi drained a 3-pointer to make it 48-31 with 4:32 left in the half. Minnesota later pulled within 10 before Phoenix scored the final seven to restore the 17-point advantage.
–Field Level Media
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