Mercury Beat Storm for Eighth Straight Win
In a 78-58 victory over the visiting Seattle Storm, the Mercury won their eighth straight game and improved to 14-3 on the year - their best 17-game start in franchise history.
Perhaps more significant, today marked the 17th game of the 2014 season for Phoenix (the halfway point). Prior to this season, no Mercury team has ever had more than 12 wins after 17 games, and the last team with 12 wins at the halfway point in the season was the 2009 WNBA Championship squad.
In today's game, however, Penny Taylor tallied 14 points to lead the Mercury who were powered by a 19-0 run in the second quarter. In fact, Phoenix outscored the Storm 21-4 in the second quarter which tied a franchise record for opponent low in points in a quarter.
Brittney Griner had another fantastic all-around game with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Diana Taurasi added 11 points for Phoenix in just 21 minutes of play. Candice Dupree added 10 points.
Phoenix is now 6-0 this season against the Storm (3-0), Lynx (2-0) and Sky (1-0) after going a combined 0-11 against that trio of playoff teams in 2013.
“You know, it’s great,” Sandy Brondello said after the game. “I keep talking about it. We’re a good team, but to be a great team it’s about having consistency, and it’s about just taking one game at a time and make sure we give the maximum effort so we can come away with the W’s.”
Phoenix improved to 11-2 against Western Conference opponents in 2014 after going 9-15 against the West last season.
“It’s pretty cool,” Diana Taurasi said about the team’s impressive record. “I mean, we’re playing well. I think that’s the biggest thing. Sometimes the record overshadows how you’re actually playing. I think we’re happy with the way we’re playing. Every single time we come in this locker room, we’re ready to go, we’re focused. We have direct goals and we’re getting them done.”
The Mercury next heads to Chicago to take on the Sky on Friday, July 11 at 5:30 p.m. on WNBA LiveAccess.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Proving that her all-around game continues to improve, Brittney Griner poured in 13 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
Griner's five dishes were also a career high.
STAT(S) OF THE NIGHT
20 - The number of turnovers forced by the Mercury in their win over Seattle, holding the Storm to 58 points (only two more than Phoenix's franchise record).