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Mystics-Mercury Postgame Notes & Quotes

KEY STAT

The Mercury was unable to slow down the Mystics offense, allowing the Mystics to shoot 35-for-65 (.547) from the field, while allowing a season-high for points in a quarter with 31 points in the second period. The Mystics were on fire from three point range shooting 11-for-17 (.647) in the contest.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Mercury shot a season-high 51.4 percent from the field in the contest on 37-for-72 shooting, including a 30-pont eruption in the fourth quarter shooting 13-for-20 (.650) from the field.
  • Diana Taurasi’s 2-for-2 performance from the free throw line tonight extended her consecutive free throw makes streak to 27. The streak started on August 18, 2017. The most consecutive free throws she has made in her career is 34 which spanned from July 19, 2017 and ended on August 18, 2017.
  • Phoenix shared the ball well on offense on its way to a season-high 23 assists on the night. The team’s previous high mark was 20 which they recorded in their May 20th victory over Seattle.
  • The Mystics, who ranked second in the WNBA in three-point percentage entering the game, shot 64.7 percent on 11-for-17 from behind the long line while holding the Mercury to 32.0 percent on 8-for-25 in the game.
  • The Mercury was out-attempted at the free throw line by the Mystics 28-to-13 for the game. The team has been out-attempted from the free throw line by its opponent in three consecutive games.
  • Phoenix was dominant from close range in the contest shooting 24-for-31 (.774) from inside the paint, while holding the Mystics to 13-for-26 (.500) from inside the lane.
  • Bittney Griner scored 27 points on 13-of-16 shooting from the field. Griner averaged 21.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in her two matchups against the Mystics in 2017, including dropping a game-high 30 in the team’s lone wn.
  • DeWanna Bonner tallied a season-high 25 points on 9-of-14 from the field, while making a season-high three three-pointers. Her previous season high in scoring entering tonight was 17 which she put up in the Mercury home opener.
  • In her third appearance of the season Yvonne Turner recorded a career-high four steals while adding two points and three rebounds in her time off the bench.
  • Washington’s Kristi Toliver poured in a game-high 30 points while going 10-of-16 from the field and 4-for-7 from three-point range. Her 12-point third quarter gave the Mystics an 18 point lead entering the fourth quarter.
  • Washington’s Ariel Atkins scored a career-high 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor and 3-for-5 from long range while adding a season-high four assists on the night.
  • Washington’s Tianna Hawkins recorded a career-high 12 rebounds and scored 13 points secure her first career double-double.

MERCURY HEAD COACH SANDY BRONDELLO

(On the game…)
“Better offense beats good defense any day. Our defense tonight was not on point. We have to get better because at the moment we are not a really good defensive team, but we’ll get there. It’s five games in I’m not going to stop believing in this team.”

(On Kristi Toliver…)
“She’s in rhythm. She’s pretty tough to guard. We tried switching her, we tried trapping her, and a lot of it was one on one.
(On looking forward…)
“We’re going to go back and get ready to go on the road and hopefully the road is good for us. We expect more from ourselves to have a more consistent effort for forty minutes.”

MERCURY CENTER BRITTNEY GRINER 27 POINTS | 5 REBOUNDS

(On switching offense when Taurasi is in foul trouble)
“We’ve changed our offense up from last year but we’re starting to get back into some of our old stuff that we were doing and it’s helping us out a lot.”

MERCURY GUARD DIANA TAURASI 9 POINTS | 6 ASSISTS

(On the game…)
“We’ve got to play better. We can talk about all the numbers but we’ve got to play better as a team and better as individuals.”

(On coming out strong in the first quarter…)
“I think we’ve been having great first quarters. Every first quarter we come out fine and throughout the forty minutes we lose consistency. We’re just not playing consistent; we’re not mentally focused or doing the things we have to do to win.”

MYSTICS HEAD COACH MIKE THIBAULT

(Overall thoughts…)
“When you’re a road team coming out West like this and playing last night, that’s a heck of a win for us. We played hard, we made big shots and we shot the ball really well. That makes the game look a lot prettier when you make shots. In the first half I thought we played defense on people the way we wanted to.”

(Key to turn around in 3rd quarter…)
“When you knock down a couple threes, it changes the momentum of the game. We got a couple stops in a row and got run out 6-0 in the start of the quarter, kind of put them on their heel a little bit. It probably got us to relax a little bit. It helps when you’ve got a rookie that shows up with 21 points and your point guard gets 30 or whatever she ended up with. That’s a good formula right there.”

(On their strategy against Griner…)
“We tried to change up the different looks. We didn’t want to give her the same looks. Sometimes we didn’t double, sometimes we did, sometimes we came with a post player, sometimes we came with a guard and tried to make her not see the same coverage every time.”

MYSTICS GUARD, KRISTI TOLIVER 30 POINTS | 3 REBOUNDS

(Overall thoughts…)
“I thought we competed hard for 40 minutes. Coming off a back to back, it’s never easy but we didn’t want to buy in to fatigue or make that excuse. I think from start to finish we just competed hard and remained composed throughout the adversities that took place.”

(On shooting 64% from the 3 point line…)
“Because we played unselfishly and found the open man and we know how to shoot the ball, that’s our identity. We have great three point shooters on this team so people have to respect that and obviously when do, we can also get to the rim and stay unpredictable. We were able to shoot the ball well, but we also expect that form ourselves.”

(On their good defense…)
“We’ve been a good defensive team, that’s also our identity. That’s what ignites our offense. We’re tough, we’re athletic and we don’t back down from people. We have each other’s backs.”

MYSTICS FORWARD, ARIEL ATKINS 21 POINTS | 2 REBOUNDS

(On career high…)
“It feels good because my teammates are trusting me to take these shots. They are trusting me to take the shots, make the decisions when I have the ball in my hands. And they trust me in those situations so it feels good to have their trust.”