Griner Returns, but Storm Win
Anytime a team is outscored 33-9 beyond the arc, it usually doesn’t bode well – and that’s exactly what happened tonight as the Mercury fell to the Storm in Seattle, 88-79.
The Storm shot a blistering 11-of-26 from three-point land while forcing the Mercury into just 3-16 from downtown combined with an overall shooting percentage of 43 percent. While comparable in multiple statistical areas, it was (again) the Storm’s effectiveness from three-point range that was too much for the Mercury to overcome.
Seattle didn’t take their first lead until midway through the third quarter, and never let the Mercury back in the game.
“Every game is important,” Head Coach Corey Gaines said after the game. “The league is too short.”
DeWanna Bonner finished with an impressive 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists while Candice Dupree added 16 points and 10 boards to lead the Mercury (9-10).
In her first game back since sitting out five games due to injury, rookie Brittney Griner scored 11 points for Phoenix while chipping in four rebounds and four blocked shots. Diana Taurasi finished with 10 points and five assists before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
“If you look at their percentages, they don’t necessarily have snipers, but tonight they knocked them in,” Diana Taurasi said afterwards regarding the Storm’s hot shooting. “They’re a good team. The last two we won were in the playoffs I think.
“I’ll take those two against the 14, I guess.”
Ultimately, it was the third quarter that did Phoenix in. The Storm outscored the Mercury 28-16 in the period.
“I had to put Brittney (Griner) on the bench. She could only play four minutes (a quarter),” Head Coach Corey Gaines said.
The Mercury returns home to face the Atlanta Dream at US Airways Center Saturday, August 3 at 7pm.
Seattle shot 11 for 26 (42 percent) on 3-pointers while outscoring Phoenix 33-9 from beyond the arc.
Quote of the Night: Brian Agler on Brittney Griner
"I thought Brittney (Griner) played well offensively. I don’t think we did a very good job on her tonight. We’re not used to playing against someone like that."