Griner Named Player of the Week
PHOENIX – Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner today was named the WNBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week for games played June 16 through June 22, the league announced today. This marks the first career WNBA Player of the Week Award for the second-year pro, and the second such award for a Mercury player in 2014 (Diana Taurasi, June 2-8).
Griner earns the honor after helping to lead the Mercury to a 2-0 record last week with wins over Minnesota and Tulsa, vaulting Phoenix to the league’s best record (9-3) and a share of the best 12-game start in franchise history. Griner averaged 27.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.00 blocks while shooting 76.7 percent from the field (23-for-30) in the victories.
Griner began her week by scoring a career-high 27 points and tying a career-high with 18 rebounds in a 92-79 win Wednesday against Minnesota that gave Phoenix sole possession of first place in the Western Conference. That effort also marked Griner’s third double-double of the season, equaling her season total from all of 2013 (27 games).
On Friday, Griner set a new career high with 28 points in a 91-80 win over Tulsa. She also set a career-high for field goals made in a game (12) and tied a career-high with six blocked shots in the victory. Griner now has three scoring efforts of 20 or more points this season, matching her total from her rookie season. With the win Friday, the team improved to 9-3 and matched the best 12-game start in franchise history (1998).
The second-year pro is averaging a career-high 17.4 points (12.6 points in 2013) and a career-best 8.6 rebounds (6.3 rebounds in 2013), both seventh-best in the league. Griner leads the league in blocks for the second consecutive season, averaging a career-high 3.33 (3.00 blocks in 2013), and is currently second in the league in field goal percentage (85-of-137, .620). Her 40 blocks this season are more than the team totals of six other WNBA teams.
The Mercury hit the road for two games this week, Friday at Indiana (4 p.m. Phoenix time) and Sunday at Tulsa (1:30 p.m. Phoenix time). The Mercury returns home Wednesday, July 2 at 7 p.m., hosting the Chicago Sky at US Airways Center.