Newsroom Notes: Mercury Remain Solid at Home

By Arash Azarmi,
Posted: June 18, 2009

Phoenix’s 104-80 win Wednesday night pushed its home winning streak to four games this season. The Mercury managed just two stretches of three-straight wins at home in all of 2008.

“It’s all about letting the other team know that when they come into this building, they’re gonna have to bring their best game,” guard Cappie Pondexter said. “It’s all about the intimidation factor, which the fans play a huge role in that.”

The win tonight also marked the Mercury’s seventh-straight home win overall, matching the longest home win streak since a franchise-best 11-game stretch during the 1999 season. Phoenix hasn’t lost at US Airways Center since Aug. 28 of last season.

‘Tis the season of giving

Mercury floor general Temeka Johnson was tied before Wednesday’s game with Washington’s Lindsey Harding for second in the WNBA in assists, dishing out 6.3 assists per game. Only Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm averages more with 6.6 apg.

Johnson said her teammates and the run-and-gun system are a dream come true for a point guard like herself.

“I’m really enjoying this. It’s (the offense) open and it gives you freedom. The ball finds the open man. It’s straight push run-and-gun and it’s fun basketball.”

If Johnson keeps this up, she’ll do more than just help break WNBA team scoring records. Meek’s on pace to break the Mercury franchise record set in 1998 by Michele Timms’ 5.3-assist average.

No speed limit posted

Wednesday’s game showcased the WNBA’s top two scoring teams this season. The Mercury rank first in the league with a blazing 91.8 points per game, while the Lynx are close behind averaging 88.4 points per contest.

With so much running and gunning between both teams, you might think the players do not look forward to a 40 minute sprint. But Coach Corey Gaines has taught them to think otherwise. Sharpshooter Diana Taurasi especially looks forward to being able to push the ball even faster.

“I love these types of games. Brings back old memories of playing in the old rec leagues growing up,” Taurasi said. “We know that there’s no other team in the WNBA that can keep up with us.”

The Mercury just came off its first 100-point effort of the season on June 13 versus Sacramento. In that game they scored a new WNBA-record of 115 points and, with Wednesday night’s win, Phoenix became 11-4 all-time in games following 100-point performances.