WNBA: Mercury hope to keep surging vs. Wings

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The Phoenix Mercury return home carrying plenty of momentum as they square off against the struggling Dallas Wings on Wednesday afternoon in the second game between the teams in eight days.

The Mercury (11-10) have won two straight contests, including an 84-78 decision in Los Angeles on Sunday. Natasha Cloud poured in a career-high 31 points in the victory — including the decisive bucket and then two free throws in the final minute.

Kahleah Copper added 25 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix, which played without the injured Diana Taurasi (leg) and Rebecca Allen (back).

“You trust in your work ethic, you trust in the work that you put in,” Cloud said. “(In the win over Los Angeles) I just felt really comfortable. Also knowing that I had to take a little bit more shots with (Taurasi) and (Allen) out … We just had to go out and get the win.”

After Wednesday, Phoenix’s ensuing five games are on the road, including its final three before the WNBA takes its month-long break for the Olympics.

The Wings (5-17) head to Arizona after a 104-85 loss in Las Vegas on Sunday. Dallas, which has scuffled through the season while shackled with injuries, has dropped four of its past five games and has just two wins since May 26.

Odyssey Sims led the Wings with a season-high 25 points while Natasha Howard amassed 14 points and eight rebounds and Arike Ogunbowale scored 13 points, nine of them in the first quarter. Dallas trailed by only 51-48 at the break and was within eight points early in the fourth quarter before running out of gas.

“You can just see the determination in every player, and that’s from the bench players as well,” Dallas coach Latricia Trammell said. “They’re just continuing to compete at a high level and continuing to execute at a high level. We brought a lot of energy, and I was really proud of that.”

The Mercury have taken two of the three games against the Wings this season, including a 104-96 win on the road on July 3. Copper went off for 34 points and Brittney Griner had 24 for Phoenix in that one, while Natasha Howard racked up 36 and 11 rebounds in a losing effort.

–Field Level Media

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