Taylor Powers Mercury to Twelfth Straight Win
The Mercury came into Thursday night having won 11 straight games. In fact, ironically, their last loss came at the hands of the Sun in Connecticut on June 12.
Indeed, that game left a bad taste in the Mercury's collective mouth. Phoenix didn't feel they played well as a unit and missed an opportunity to get a win on the road.
Behind a 101-85 win over the Sun Thursday night, it's safe to say the Mercury feels a little bit better.
The Mercury improved to 18-3 on the year, the best record in the WNBA. Amazingly, Phoenix won 19 games a season ago and did not win its 18th game until September 13, 2013.
Phoenix has now had the league's best record since June 18, a string of 29 consecutive days.
"Weíre finding ways to be effective, and itís not always the easy way," Penny Taylor said after the game. "We have to work together. We have so many players on this team with high basketball IQs, and for me thatís so much fun.
"Thereís nothing better than everyone being unselfish and making the right basketball plays."
Penny Taylor finished with what can unequivocally be called her best game in nearly three years. The superstar forward tallied a game-high 23 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and zero turnovers in only 24 minutes of action.
"Look, Penny can do that any given night, basically," Sandy Brondello said. "Thatís what makes us so special and makes our team so special, that any given night someone else can step up. But thatís vintage Penny. I mean Iíve played with her for years and now Iíve coached her and watched her, and itís just what she does so itís good to see that."
The Mercury is a remarkable 12-0 with the starting lineup of Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor, DeWanna Bonner, Candice Dupree and Brittney Griner. Perhaps more impressive, Phoenix is a franchise-record 10-1 at home this season (the Mercury has never won more than 12 home games in a season).
Phoenix now owns just the eighth win streak of 12 or more games in the 18-year history of the WNBA and the fourth-longest in WNBA history.
"Weíre rolling," Brittney Griner added. "We wanted to get these wins, protect home court. Connecticut beat us at their place, so we definitely remembered that in the back of our heads and wanted to get a win so we can enjoy All-Star."
Phoenix hosts the WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday, July 19 at US Airways Center led by Mercury All-Stars Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Candice Dupree.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
How about Penny Taylor? Taylor was 9-of-12 from the floor and 2-of-5 from beyond the arc for 23 points in 24 minutes.
The Mercury's bench was a major factor in the win.
Erin Phillips, Shay Murphy and Mistie Bass provided stability, energy and firepower combining for 23 points and eight rebounds on 44 percent shooting.
STAT(S) OF THE NIGHT
101 - the number of points scored by the Mercury. The WNBAís leading offense scored a season-high 101 and scored at least 90 points for the third consecutive game. It is the second 100 point effort for the Mercury this season and the 42nd in team history. Phoenix improved to 8-1 (.888) when scoring 90 or more points in a game.