Phoenix Mercury vs. Washington Mystics Live Blog: Analysis and Results
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Brittney Griner played the best game of her young career but the Washington Mystics got all they could handle from Diana Taurasi.
After a slow start by both teams the Mercury found their footing by working the ball inside to Griner and Bonner who finished with 13 and 7 points respectively in the first half.
Diana Taurasi got to every spot she wanted to in the first half by pushing every time up the floor, finishing the half with 17 points and 3 assists.
Although the Mystics finally started to find open lanes off the pick and roll late in the 2nd quarter, the Mercury smothered them with solid switching and pressure on the perimeter, forcing them into just 41 percent shooting from the floor to their 58.8 percent.
The second half saw both teams get off slow again, but the Mystics found easy looks close to the bucket when Taurasi and Griner went to the bench with four minutes left in the third quarter.
Despite a solid run by the Mystics to cut the deficit, Taurasi and the Mercury's fast pace was just too much for the Mystics. Taurasi finished with a game-high 31 points while Griner notched a career-high 21 points to go along with four blocks.
Ivory Latta scored 22 points for the Mystics but a 44-22 edge in points in the paint for the Mercury sealed their fate and led to a 90-82 victory for Phoenix. They are now 4-4 while Washington falls to 4-3.
End of the Game: Final Score- Mercury 90, Mystics 82. Diana Taurasi led all scorers with 31 points while Brittney Griner had her best game of her rookie year with 21 points and 4 blocks. Ivory Latta had 22 points for Washington while Matee Ajavon contributed 18. The Mercury outscored the Mystics 44-22 in the paint.
Langhorne can't connect on the three and that'll do it. Taurasi is fouled with 20.5 seconds left. She hits both free throws to make it 90-80. Mystics hit a shot but Mercury run out the clock.
Taurasi gets inside and draws a foul from Ajavon. She knocks down both free throws to increase the lead to 8 with 43.8 seconds left
Both teams trade a pair of free throws on successive possessions. 86-80 with 1:15 left
Never noticed how fast the women's game moves. Seems like it just started. But Gaines' coaching style makes for a fast-paced game from start to finish
Griner with the slick move inside for the turnaround. Washington ball with Phoenix up 84-78 with 1:29 remaining.
Dupree finds her way inside to push the lead back to 4 going to a commercial break with 2:36 left
Mystics doing a good job keeping Griner from open looks inside here late. Force three straight turnovers and convert for points on all three offensive trips. Mercury lead 80-78 with 3:21 left
Griner forced into bad jumper and Latta connects on the floater at the other end. Mercury lead down to 5 with 4:19 left
Mystics hit two free throws and force a turnover on the other end. Ajavon misses an easy layup on the other end. 78-70 with just over 5 minutes to go
Washington already in the bonus with 5:56 left in the game. Down by 11, this is a good thing for them.
Taurasi and Griner back in the game with about 7:30 left, and Taurasi gets a quick assist. Mercury up 75-65 with 6:47 remaining.
Taurasi and Griner have both been out of the game for over 7 minutes now. Coach Corey Gaines must be hoping the energy from the bench will continue to keep Washington out of rhythm.
Ajavon knocks down a long three to open the quarter, trying to get her Mystics team going. Mercury lead 72-63 with just under 9 minutes to go
End of the 3rd quarter. Mercury lead 70-60. The Mercury continued to work the ball inside in the quarter and found some open threes from Taurasi and Houston. Griner had 6 points in the quarter for the Mercury.
The Mystics started the quarter slow but found easy looks in the paint when Griner went to the bench around the four minute mark. They need to keep working the ball to slashing guards to find easy buckets. The perimeter shots arent there.
Mystics get nice turnaround jumper inside from Emma Meesseman but Houston hits a three on the other end.
Mystics finding solid lob opportunities inside with Griner out of the game. The Mercury moving the ball well still but missing the mid-ranger jumpers. 65-55 Mercury with 2 minutes left in the 3rd
Griner and Taurasi taking a break late in the 3rd. Griner averaging just 25.7 minutes per game this season.
Mystics trying to find easy buckets by slashing to the basket but Griner's presence is making them reluctant to pass it in there. Griner hits a shot for point No. 19 and gets her 3rd block on the next defensive possession. Mercury up 60-51 with 3:36 left in the 3rd quarter
Ivory Latta finally finds her stroke in the half with a three. She has 15 and the Mercury lead 58-47.
Both teams missing shots early in the second half. But Ajavon knocks down her first shot of the half before Taurasi hits another three. 54-44 Mercury with 7 minutes to go in the 3rd
Second half begins. Griner hits the first shot 3 minutes in
The Mercury have pushed the pace early on after the slow start with Diana Taurasi leading the charge shooting 7-for-9 from the field. The Mystics are being forced into too many long jumpers on the perimeter and need to keep working the pick and roll to find open driving lanes. Points in the paint have been the story, as the Mercury have a +14 advantage at the half
Mercury switching well on the pick and roll but Mystics get a three to go late. Taurasi pushes up the floor to lay it in to end the half. Mercury up 49-38 at the half
Taurasi hitting everything right now, getting to any spot on the floor she wants. Mystics in a bit of a drought but Matee Ajavon makes a nifty move and gets the continuation after the bucket. Free throw is good. Mercury 42-32 with 2:30 left
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