Mercury Fall to Mystics, Drop Sixth-Straight Contest

By Brad G. Faye,
Posted: July 1, 2010

After missing Phoenix’s previous contest with a back injury, Mercury guard Diana Taurasi was back in the lineup on Thursday night against the Mystics. Fighting through the pain, the guard struggled, only managing to score 11 points in a 107-104 Phoenix loss.

“I guess it’s the little things that make the big things happen,” Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines said. “A missed free throw here, a missed layup there, if you don’t do those things right, you’re not going to get a win.”

Forwards Penny Taylor and Candice Dupree tried to pick up their scoring slack each contributing 23 points, but down the stretch it just wasn’t enough.

“We’re falling short and we have to find a way to fix it,” Taurasi said. “We’re right there and we’re playing good basketball, we’re just not making enough plays throughout the 40 minutes to win and are coming up on the short end of a lot of these games. We have to find a way to collectively win a game as a group and it has to be soon.”

The three-point loss marked the fourth time during the six-game losing streak that the Mercury fell by three points or less, something their head coach said will hopefully be beneficial come later in the season.

“What I’m hoping is that this tough stuff we’re going through will help us down the stretch,” Gaines said. “We’ll have been in these kinds of close games but maybe we’ll find ourselves on the other end of them.”

The Mercury trailed 73-68 entering the fourth quarter of play, but two Taylor free throws cut the lead to 98-97 with 32 seconds remaining. The Mystics countered from downtown and managed to remain out of reach from that point forward.

Gaines said while he is a young coach who has yet to experience a streak like this, he does have his days as an NBA player to look back on to understand how quick things can possibly turn around.

“My only experience of this before was when I was playing for Coach (Pat) Riley in New York with the Knicks,” Gaines recalled. “We had a five game losing streak that year and it wasn’t because we weren’t playing hard or weren’t listening, sometimes you’re just unlucky. That year we ended up going to the NBA Finals so basketball is a funny game.

“We’re still in third (in the West) and we’ll make that run, we’ll make that run.”


On Saturday, the New York Liberty will make their way to US Airways Center. The contest will mark the first time former Mercury guard Cappie Pondexter takes on her former team since being traded to the Big Apple during the offseason.