Mercury Finish Strong, Beat Dream
"It's not how you start," Brittney Griner said at her locker after the Mercury's 75-67 win over the visiting Atlanta Dream. "It's how you finish."
That phrase couldn't be more accurate for the Mercury Tuesday night.
Phoenix started the game down 0-7 to Atlanta and were later outscored by the Dream 22-6 in the third quarter, but stormed back with a 28-16 fourth quarter behind nine Diana Taurasi points in a span of two minutes to seal the win.
Tuesday's victory set a single-season franchise-record with their 24th win of the season. The Mercury is now just four wins shy of matching the WNBA single-season record for wins with six regular season games remaining.
"Obviously, itís a great accomplishment," Sandy Brondello said. "Just for the team, how theyíve come together, their chemistry, buying into everything that we do and coming ready to play every night. Itís a team effort, but big picture, itís still a long way to go and weíre focused on bigger things."
At 24-4 on the season, the Mercury maintains the best record in the WNBA. Tuesday's win was also the club's 13th consecutive home victory, extending a franchise-record for consecutive home wins. Phoenix has not lost at home since May 23, a string of 74 days.
"Itís pretty cool, because the other two teams (í07 and í09) were great," Diana Taurasi said about setting a franchise record in wins. "They really were - í07 was just a great collection of personalities that all got along and played really well together and í09 was just super talented. I think this team is kind of on that level. To win 24, thatís huge for this organization."
Overall, the Mercury finished the game shooting 47 percent from the field while assisting on 20 of their 30 made field goals. Atlanta shot just 34.2 percent from the floor and 16.7 percent from the three-point line.
"Tale of two halves," Taurasi added. "First half, we played really well, and then in the second half, we came out, I think, a little sluggish. They came out, and they put a lot of pressure on us on both ends. They crashed the boards, they were pushing the ball. We didnít react very well to that, but then in the fourth, we did a pretty good job of just getting back into our stuff and getting stops."
Brittney Griner had 14 points, nine rebounds and nine blocked shots while Penny Taylor had an impressive all-around game with 13 points, eight assists and four boards.
Next up, the Mercury heads to San Antonio to take on the Stars on Thursday, August 7 at 5 p.m. on FOX Sports Arizona Plus.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
When a player is just shy of a triple double by one block and one rebound, they're going to get the Player of the Game nod. Brittney Griner finished with 14 points, nine blocks and nine rebounds. With 112 blocks on the season so far, Griner is on pace to record 136 blocks this year and shatter the current single-season record of 114 blocks set by Margo Dydek in 1998.
STAT(S) OF THE NIGHT
28 - In the fourth quarter, Phoenix connected on 10-of-15 field goals (66.7 percent) on their way to the highest scoring fourth quarter of their season, 28 points, and outscored the Dream 28-to-16 to get the victory.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT