Mercury survive despite Taylor’s clunker

WNBA Finals Notebook

By Mark Heller,
Sept. 14, 2007

The Australian term for what Penny Taylor experienced Thursday night is called a “barry.”

This term isn’t meant to offend anyone of the same name. It’s a clunker, the kind of game where you never look at the box score in your lifetime.

Taylor felt that way after a 1-for-11 shooting night. Taylor and fellow frontcourt mate Tangela Smith combined to go 2-for-21.

Her six points would have been a season low, but she scored four points against Washington in mid-June before leaving the game with an abdominal injury.

“The worst game of your life. As horrible a performance as you could imagine,” Taylor said of Thursday night.

To their credit, the duo hit the boards and tried to defend Plenette Pierson and Kara Braxton with mixed results.

But the Mercury still found a way to win, 77-76, and send themselves back to Detroit for Sunday’s deciding Game 5, so all is forgotten and forgiven.

“We got the ‘W’ that’s what I’m thrilled about,” Taylor said.


Shock forward Cheryl Ford suffered another injury in the game’s final minute and had to be carried off the floor by teammates.

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Ford — who’s already battling an injured knee in the series and didn’t play in Game 1 — hit the ground in obvious pain after Cappie Pondexter’s putback gave the Mercury a 76-75 lead with 42 seconds left.

“I would be extremely pessimistic about her having an opportunity to play in Game 5,” Shock coach Bill Laimbeer said.


After reviewing the Game 3 tape, the league determined the Pierson-Taylor exchange wasn’t severe enough to warrant suspension.

Instead, the league increased the severity of a Pierson foul to a Flagrant 1, which is worth one point on a four-point scale of intentional or egregious fouls (similar to the NBA). Once a player reaches four points in the postseason, they must serve a one-game suspension.

The exchange occurred in the final seconds of Game 3, when the two exchanged words and elbows while running down the court. Both players received technical fouls, which is an automatic fine.

Pierson received hearty boos from the crowd when she entered the game, but led the Shock with 23 points on 9-for-10 shooting.


All 20 of Phoenix’s fourth-quarter points were scored by either Kelly Miller, Cappie Pondexter or Diana Taurasi.

Detroit is 7-0 in elimination games. Phoenix is 2-3.

The Mercury are 14-1 this season when holding opponents below 80 points.

COPYRIGHT 2007, EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Used with permission.