Mon, 08 Aug 2022

Mercury showing fight; face up-and-down Fever next

Field Level Media
27 Jun 2022, 06:05 GMT+10

The Phoenix Mercury found a bright spot in what has been a disappointing season when they defeated the host Dallas Wings 83-72 on Saturday night.

The victory ended a three-game losing streak and came just hours after the Mercury parted ways with center Tina Charles as they continue to struggle in the absence of star Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia.

Phoenix (7-12), which had just eight players in uniform against Dallas, will try to build on the win when they host the Indiana Fever on Monday night.

"I think what you saw is a bunch of pros show up and do their jobs," Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard said. "They showed the potential of what we have as a group. Eight people to do that and to fight like that, it was great to see and a little relief for some of the adversity we've been going through."

Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 26 points, Diana Taurasi had 18, Diamond DeShields added 16 points with 10 rebounds and Sophie Cunningham scored 14.

The Fever (5-14) experienced a brief boost to their difficult season when they defeated reigning WNBA champion Chicago 89-87 on June 19, but they followed that with a 94-68 loss at Dallas on Thursday.

"It's a rollercoaster when it comes to a young team that has not been in this league," Fever interim head coach Carlos Knox said. "Up-and-down emotions come with the territory, but I know that we will bounce back as a team because we are determined and focused."

Indiana committed six of its 19 turnovers in a first quarter that ended with the Wings holding a 34-19 lead.

Kelsey Mitchell, who led the Fever with 22 points, said the team is capable of much better play as they head into the second game of a four-game road trip.

"There is nothing nobody else is doing that we cannot control," she said. "It's on us."

--Field Level Media

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