Griner Named Player of the Week
PHOENIX - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner today was named the WNBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week for games played August 4-10, the league announced today. For Griner, it is the second Player of the Week honor of her career, both this season (June 23), and the fourth overall by a Mercury player in 2014 (Diana Taurasi – June 9, July 7).
Griner helped to lead the Mercury to a 3-0 record during the week, averaging 15.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and a league-best 5.33 blocked shots. Griner, who already owns the WNBA record for blocks in a single game and is on pace to establish a new league mark for blocks-per-game average in a season, set the WNBA single-season record for total blocked shots on Thursday at San Antonio. Her 115th block of the season, which broke a 16-year-old WNBA record, came at the 7:03 mark of the third quarter. Griner moved past the late Margo Dydek, who had held the record since 1998.
On Saturday against second-place Minnesota, the Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner secured a two-point win, blocking a game-tying lay-up attempt in the final seconds in a thrilling 82-80 victory over the Lynx. In addition to her two blocks on Saturday, Griner scored 19 points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the year. On Tuesday against Atlanta, Griner started the week with one of the more complete games of her career, tallying 14 points, nine rebounds and nine blocked shots in a win over the Dream.
For the season, the second-year pro is averaging a career-high 15.7 points, a career-high and team-leading 7.9 rebounds, and a league-leading 3.97 blocks per game. She also ranks third in the WNBA in field goal percentage (.581).
Owners of the best record in the league (26-4) and a franchise-record 26 victories, the Mercury has won four consecutive games following a franchise-record 16-game win streak, the second-longest in WNBA history. The team opens the final week of the regular season tomorrow in New York (4 p.m. Phoenix time) and next plays at home this Saturday, Aug. 16 vs. Los Angeles. The Mercury will host the first game of the 2014 WNBA Playoffs at US Airways Center on either Thursday, August 21 or Friday, August 22.