Dupree Scores 17 in Loss
Again shorthanded without Brittney Griner (knee sprain), Diana Taurasi (suspension for seventh technical) and Penny Taylor (rest) the Phoenix Mercury fell to the Minnesota Lynx again on Wednesday, 81-69.
Candice Dupree scored 17 points for the Mercury who now sits at 9-9 entering the All-Star break. DeWanna Bonner added 15 points for Phoenix while Charde Houston scored 13 off the bench.
Phoenix was down by 14 points midway through the first half, but rallied to cut the Lynx lead to just seven after the second quarter. Augustus and Whalen had six points each during a 14-4 run to open the third quarter and push the lead to 53-38.
“We were in it the first half, down by seven at halftime,” Candice Dupree said after the game. “We knew we had to come out and play aggressive because they are a physical team. We made some mistakes offensively that hurt us and we gave them too many transition buckets. Whalen got way too many layups. We hung in there. The discrepancy in the score wasn’t too bad. We just have to clean it up. They play extremely well together. They have been together for a couple of years now. They are very physical and aggressive.
“They got rebounds and got out in transition and that hurt us.”
Considering the Mercury has played just one of its 18 games so far with a fully healthy squad, a .500 record heading into the All-Star break is nothing to scoff at. Additionally, Phoenix has 16 games left in the season with nine coming at US Airways Center.
In August, the Mercury plays seven of its 10 games at home.
“[Minnesota is the] number-one team and we are down three bazookas,” Gaines said about playing without Taurasi, Griner and Taylor today. “We will be back. Brittney is averaging 15 points, three blocks and seven rebounds and, let me see, my leading scorer in the league (Taurasi). If you take Seimone, Maya and Whalen off of that team right now…we will be back. It’s going to come down to us and them.
“I think we will come back healthy and ready to play and Diana with a fresh mind. It will be interesting.”
Augustus and Whalen had six points each during a 14-4 run to open the third quarter and push the lead to 53-38.
Quote of the Night: DeWanna Bonner
“Take a break, rest up and come back; it's like a whole new season (in the) second half.”