Mercury Stretch Winning Streak to 10
Phoenix saved what could be considered their best performance of the season to date for the return of Mercury legend (and close friend of fellow Aussie Sandy Brondello) Michele Timms.
"Timmsy" - as she is affectionately known as to The X-Factor - was on hand at US Airways Center to watch the Mercury beat the San Antonio Stars 90-61 on Sunday for their 10th consecutive win.
Phoenix is now 10-0 with the starting lineup of Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor, DeWanna Bonner, Candice Dupree and Brittney Griner. Sunday's win at home was the seventh consecutive for the Mercury matching the second-longest home win streak in team history (1997).
Perhaps more impressive, the Mercury improved to 16-3 on the year and maintain the best record in the WNBA. In 2013, Phoenix won a total of 19 games and didn't win their 16th game until September 6.
“It’s one game at a time,” Candice Dupree said regarding the Mercury's winning streak. “Each game is a goal to get to the ultimate goal, which is a championship.”
Candice Dupree finished with a game-high 19 points while Diana Taurasi was just one point, two assists and two rebounds shy of a triple-double without playing in the fourth quarter.
“That makes us a hard team to beat,” Sandy Brondello said of the team’s balance and depth. “When we can do that, it’s tough. Brittney [Griner] inside, you know, they want to trap that. Diana [Taurasi] is leading the way. Penny [Taylor] is always a spark doing what she does. Candice [Dupree] was just picking the pockets where she needed to. But our bench was really good tonight, and that’s the kind of energy we know that we needed.”
Indeed, the Mercury's bench played tremendous tonight. Not only did they come in and provide a spark on defense, they put the ball in the hoop at an impressive rate scoring 38 total points on 12-of-22 shooting led by Erin Phillips who was a perfect 4-of-4 from the three-point line.
"That’s what we’re trying to do this year,” Diana Taurasi said regarding the balanced attack. “We’re not trying to be one-dimensional. We’re not trying to be obvious in what we’re doing. We’re trying to let it come to us in a fashion where everyone gets a touch, where everyone gets a good shot and we’ve been doing a pretty good job of that."
The Mercury continues their three-game home stand before the All-Star break on Tuesday, July 15 against the Mystics. Don't forget the first 2,000 fans at US Airways Center on Tueday get a Diana Taurasi bobblehead.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Once again, the nod goes to Candice Dupree. Hoping to be named an All-Star reserve on Tuesday, Dupree led all scorers in Sunday's game with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, extending her streak of consecutive games in double-figures to 13-straight.
STAT(S) OF THE NIGHT
50/40/80 - When a team shoots above 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from the three-point line and 80 percent from the foul line, it usually means the game is clicking on all cylinders.
Phoenix did just that on Sunday - 57 percent from the floor, 46 percent from beyond the arc and 85 percent from the charity stripe.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Revealing that the @PhoenixMercury have nearly a 30-point lead with 4 min to go and the arena is still filled. X-Factor fans are the best!— Nicole Stanton (@NicoleStantonAZ) July 13, 2014