Bird Leads Storm Past Mercury

By Ben York,

Playing its second game in less than 24 hours, the Mercury fell to the Storm in Seattle tonight 83-68.

Not only did the Mercury exert an immense amount of energy in a double overtime game against the Dream just 16 hours prior, they also arrived in Seattle a mere four hours prior to tipoff.

Still, when Sue Bird plays like the way she did tonight, there isn’t much any team on the planet can do to stop her – she finished with 31 points on 10-11 shooting.

“Sue (Bird) came out on fire,” said Corey Gaines after the game. “That day off really helped her. She came out fresh. We were a little tired, I think. We’ll have had three games in 65 hours. It’s tough, especially when you can’t score. We played hard. It’s not their fault – they didn’t sign up for that. But they’re fighting. Every dog has its day and it’s not our day. We’ll be back one day.”

The Mercury struggled from the floor shooting 21-64 and 2-17 from beyond the arc. DeWanna Bonner (12) and Alexis Gray-Lawson (11) were the only Phoenix players in double figures.

However, they did out-rebound the Storm 35-33 and forced 14 turnovers.

Playing her best game as a rookie, Avery Warley had eight points and 13 rebounds. Recently added forward/center Lynetta Kizer added another eight points in just under six minutes of play on 3-5 shooting.

“Give credit to Seattle,” DeWanna Bonner said. “They played a great game tonight. They were knocking down shots. Sue (Bird) played one of the best games I’ve seen her play. She was lights out in the first half. She really put the team on her back and got them this win. It’s tough for us coming off the back-to-back, legs tired … but no excuses. We came out here and pretty much got beat. They played a great game.”

In typical Bonner (and Mercury) fashion, neither she nor the team is getting discouraged and will always continue to fight.

“Our team has done a pretty good job of it [staying positive],” Bonner added. “Yeah, we’re not winning right now, but we’ve got a lot of injuries and we just have to get better every day and play the best we can. We don’t get down too much.”

I know I sound like a broken record, but the way this team bands together and fights each and every night is something to be respected. They are short-handed and out-numbered, but they never give up.

Ultimately, that's what matters most.


- Alexis Gray-Lawson’s 11 points were her second highest total this season.

- Four Mercury players tallied 27 minutes or more tonight in spite of playing nearly 40 minutes against the Dream Saturday.

- The Mercury heads home to face the Los Angeles Sparks in their annual matinee game on Tuesday. Tipoff is at 12:30 p.m.