Mercury Comeback Falls Short
Posted: June 20, 2010
After piecing together back-to-back wins against the Lynx and the Shock, the Mercury have now lost two-straight games following Sunday afternoon’s defeat to the Sun.
What would have been one of the greatest comebacks in WNBA history came up just short as the Mercury – who trailed by 21 points in the third quarter – ran off an amazing 24-2 run that gave them the lead in the fourth quarter. The remarkable turnaround couldn’t be capitalized on, however, as the team fell, 96-94.
“I think we just started getting those rebounds and going,” Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines said of the run. “Otherwise it’s (Connecticut) getting a putback after we force a stop and them being able to get in their defensive set. When we’re rebounding and running, they didn’t have a chance to get into their defense and that’s what happened more in the fourth quarter.”
As far as how tough a loss this is for the team having overcome the 17-point deficit they faced heading into the fourth quarter, Gaines chose instead to focus on the positive he saw in his team making the comeback and taking the lead before falling just short.
“It would be a bigger setback if we were down by 20 and we gave up,” the Mercury coach said. “Then that would be something that tells you you’re in trouble, but they didn’t do that.”
After missing the fourth quarter of Friday night’s contest with an injured ankle, Taylor was back in the starting lineup for the Mercury on Sunday, and didn’t appear to have any problems early scoring 12 points in the first half. She finished with 23 in the ballgame and said following the afternoon affair that she even noticed some improvement as the game progressed.
“It’s a sprain so once I got going and was able to get warmed up it was fine,” Taylor told PhoenixMercury.com. “The break we have coming up should help me and some others get some rest. We haven’t come out great after some of these breaks though so there are some positives and negatives to it.”
The Mercury after finishing this four-game home stand 2-2 won’t play again until Friday when they again face the Sun, this time in Connecticut. That contest will be followed by two more additional road contests in Washington and Atlanta before returning home to host the Mystics on July 1.
FATHER’S DAY ALWAYS SPECIAL FOR TAURASI
Coming off a 39-point, seven-rebound and seven-assist performance against the Silver Stars on Friday, Mercury guard Diana Taurasi enjoyed another solid outing against the Sun on Sunday contributing 24 points, six rebounds and three assists. Albeit it in a losing effort, Taurasi said she always enjoys having a strong showing on Father’s Day, a holiday which the star holds close to her heart.
“Me and my pops have a great relationship,” Taurasi said. “We’ve always gotten along really well and he’s been one of my biggest supporters for a really long time. Father’s Day is definitely a special day for us.”
PLAYERS DIGGING WORLD CUP PLAY
Father’s Day is not the only reason a pair of Mercury stars have been in touch with their fathers as of late. With an international player in Penny Taylor and a player with international ties like Taurasi, each has been in contact with their fathers a bit more than usual lately thanks to the ongoing World Cup. That is to say, they are in contact when communication difficulties don’t stand in the way.
“During the first Argentina game I got a couple of blocked calls on my phone and didn’t answer them,” Taurasi told PhoenixMercury.com. “My mom eventually text me and told me that my dad was trying to get a hold of me.”
Communication has been smoother for the father-daughter team since, much like the smooth play for one of two teams Taurasi said she is rooting for in the tournament, Argentina. With ties to both Argentina and Italy, Taurasi says she cheers on both clubs, but is picking Argentina to take the tournament in South Africa.
“A lot of the games come on really early here so it’s a little hard to watch live, but ESPN has been doing a great job of condensing some of the games during later broadcasts,” Taurasi said. “I’ll also use the TiVO and take a look when I have time.”
As far as whether or not the sharpshooting guard worries about text messages or phone calls spoiling the results, Taurasi said it isn’t a concern.
“I don’t really worry about finding stuff out before I’ve seen it because with my personality, I just want to know the minute I wake up anyway.”
Another Mercury star who is heavily invested in the World Cup is forward Penny Taylor who, like Taurasi, also said she is keeping track of two different teams.
“Both of my parents are from England so I, of course, follow them and then I have Australia where they’re all going crazy at the moment,” the forward said. “I love it and it’s a very exciting time right now.”
Taylor said her father is also keeping up with how things are progressing in the World Cup, so much in fact that she has to check up on him from time to time to make sure he’s taking proper care of himself.
“My dad is a huge soccer fan,” the forward explained with a smile. “He set up a bed in front of the television and probably hasn’t left the house at all. I sent him a gift basket the other day because I’m concerned he isn’t even leaving for the supermarket or anything. He is really just watching the World Cup, and I wanted to make sure he at least has some food.”