Bonner, Prahalis Combine for 43 in Loss to Lynx

By Ben York,

Playing without starters Candice Dupree and Nakia Sanford for the third straight game, the Mercury seemed to find their shooting touch from beyond the arc again (hitting nine 3-pointers), but it wasn’t enough as Phoenix fell to the Lynx 96-80.

"They're playing hard," added Corey Gaines. "As long as they're playing hard, that's all I care about. We're missing some key players but they're still staying in there and executing and trying to get stuff done."

In the first half, DeWanna Bonner seemed unstoppable scoring 18 points while hitting all kinds of acrobatic shots along the perimeter. Clearly, following halftime, the Lynx made it a point to focus the bulk of their attention on Bonner in the third and fourth quarters – Bonner finished with 23 points and seven rebounds.

Because of Minnesota's focus on Bonner, Sammy Prahalis was able to take her offensive game to another level especially in the third quarter. "Styles P" scored eight of her 20 points in the third and finished with four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

The Lynx seemed to do the little things extremely well tonight which ultimately propelled them to a win. Having a healthy squad, Minnesota outrebounded Phoenix 45-31, had 27 assists to the Mercury's eight, and shot 45 percent from the floor as a team.

"I mean, that's on all of us, though," Sammy Prahalis said regarding the Mercury's effort on the boards. "You know, guards have got to get in there, too, so it's not just the posts. We've just got to go after the ball harder."

Still, in spite of all the injuries and adversity, this Mercury team hasn't, and will never, give up.

"It's taken a minute but I think we're playing really hard," said DeWanna Bonner after the game. "We've been playing really hard right now. That's what we've got to do. We've just got to continue to play hard and stay focused."


- DeWanna Bonner led Phoenix with 23 points and seven rebounds, her sixth 20-plus effort of the season (a new single-season career best) and the eighth time she's been the Mercury's top scorer. Bonner, who entered the contest ranked 3rd in the WNBA in scoring at 19.5 ppg, has scored at least 12 points in every game this season.

- Sammy Prahalis added 20 points for the Mercury, on the heels of a season-high 22-point outing vs. Los Angeles last Saturday. Over her past three starts, Prahalis is averaging 19.0 ppg and 5.3 rpg while shooting 44.9 percent (22-49).

- The Mercury next heads to Chicago to take on the Sky Friday, June 29. The game can be viewed using LiveAccess .