Mercury looking to close out strong before Olympic break

Diana Taurasi had 27 points in the Mercury’s recent loss against Chicago. To her, it’s always nice to have games like that, but in the end, she just cares about winning.

The Mercury have played the Mystics twice this season, winning both games. “Home or away, whether it’s a team we’ve beaten twice or not, we gotta come out and play and play better (than the game against Chicago),” Taurasi said.

Everyone should tune into the ESPYs to see if DeWanna Bonner wins the ESPY for best WNBA Player.

“When I found out (about the nomination) I was a little shocked,” Bonner said.

At practice, Penny Taylor took some shots and looked terrific. She’s currently listed as “day-to-day”.

“We’re not going to bring her back until she’s ready,” head coach Sandy Brondello said.

Marta Xargay returned to the Mercury after training for Rio, and Brondello likes what she has seen so far.

“She’s been great on both ends of the floor. She really gives us that tempo that we needed,” Brondello said.

Kelsey Bone is another recent addition to the team.

“It’s taken her a little time to adjust, but I do think she’s a really important player for us moving forward,” Brondello said.

Mistie Bass got the starting nod for the Mercury for the first time this season, while Penny Taylor sat out again with the same injury.

“Candice (Dupree) couldn’t play. She’s hurt. Something she woke up with. She couldn’t play; she couldn’t run. I didn’t know until right at the tip-off,” Brondello said.

At the end of the first quarter, the Mercury led 23-16. Britney Griner led the way with eight points; Bonner had seven, and Mistie Bass had six. Taurasi was scoreless in the first quarter, something you rarely will see from the WNBA superstar. Sonja Petrovic was also held scoreless.

“She (Diana) shows up when she’s needed,” Bass said.

The Mystics opened up the second quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 26-23 lead.

At halftime, the Mercury led by four, up 45-41. Griner (11), Taurasi (10), and Bonner (11) were all in double digits at the end of two. Mistie Bass had eight points at the half.

At the end of three, the Mercury led 65-55. Bass had 12, Griner had 14, Taurasi had 15 and Bonner had 16.

With just under :30 left and the game tied at 74, Sonja Petrovic nailed a huge shot to put the Merc up 76-74.

“When she (coach) called my name again (to come into the game) I was just thinking ‘be relaxed,’ Petrovic said.

The Merc played good D on the last possession and closed out the game, winning 78-74.

“We need to take care of business earlier. We can’t allow teams to come back once we are winning,” Petrovic said.

“I thought we showed fight,” Brondello said.

Bass finished with 12 points and six rebounds, Griner finished with 22 points, eight boards, and five blocks, Taurasi finished with 18-6-6, and Bonner finished with 16.

 

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