Mercury go wire-to-wire
Riding a two-game winning streak, both on the road, the Mercury finally had things figured out. With guard Penny Taylor out with a hip injury, the Merc knew they would need their role players to step up to the plate.
“We got a little setback with Penny’s injury. We’ll have to find other ways to win,” Sonja Petrovic said.
Well, it doesn’t seem like they got TOO setback.
In the first quarter, the Mercury came out hotter than the weather, opening the score up to 15-4, leading by as many as 14 at one point. After one, they led 24-10. In the second quarter, the Mercury allowed the Sun to come back, leading by just four at halftime 41-37.
However, it was a great first half of defensive basketball for the Mercury, so there aren’t any complaints there. The Sun outscored the Mercury 27-17 in the second quarter. DeWanna Bonner led all Mercury scorers with ten points at halftime.
For the Sun, Alex Bentley had 17 at halftime. As long as the Mercury made it a priority to lock down on Bentley in the second half, it was evident they would be on the right track.
She scored two points in the second half.
In the third quarter, the Mercury looked to put the game on ice, regaining their dominating lead, and extending it even further, up to 19 points. At the end of 3 quarters, the Mercury were up on the scoreboard, 66-51.
In the fourth quarter, the Mercury put the game away, leading by as many as 14 points with just under 3 minutes remaining. Your final score: Mercury-84, Sun-72.
Sonja Petrovic scored a season-high 22 points, and Britney Griner manhandled the Suns interior defense scoring 19, pulling down nine rebounds, and blocking five shots. Bonner finished with 18 points.
“I told her (Petrovic), you don’t have to be Penny Taylor, you just have to be Sonja Petrovic,” coach Sandy Brondello said.
The Mercury have now a season-high three straight games. “We are feeling really good,” Petrovic said.
“We knew it was going to take a little time, maybe longer than we expected,” Diana Taurasi said.
The Mercury acquired Lindsey Harding and Kelsey Boone earlier this week in a trade with the Sun, giving them a 2nd round pick along with rookie guard Courtney Williams.
“She’s (Harding) gonna give us that dynamic guard coming off the bench that we need,” Taurasi said.
“Kelsey is another big body for us,” Brondello said.
Boone, a newcomer on the team after being traded from the Sun, stressed the importance of taking things “day by day.”
What is it like to play alongside Diana Taurasi?
“I don’t think that it’s really hit me yet, that it’s actually happened for me,” Boone said.
Next up for the Mercury? A battle against the New York Liberty Friday at 7pm. The Liberty are coming off of an impressive victory against the defending champion Minnesota Lynx.