Mercury rout Fever behind Griner’s career-high 32 points

PHOENIX — Brittney Griner scored a career-high 32 points and had 10 rebounds and three blocks, Diana Taurasi added 13 points, and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Indiana Fever 85-62 on Wednesday night.

Griner had 21 points and six rebounds in the first half to help Phoenix jump out to a 52-29 lead. She was 9 of 10 from the field in the half and finished 13 of 15.

The Mercury was outrebounded 41-17 in losing its opener to Dallas on Sunday, but they had a 36-29 rebounding edge over the Fever.

“She was fresh today, you knew she was going to play well,” Mercury coach Sandy Brondello said. “It’s more of a mentality and I keep telling her she can be as good as she wants as long as she’s ready to play in that regard.”

“We’re telling her she’s got to get the rebound, and that’s when she’s the best for us.”

Taurasi grabbed six rebounds to become the first player in WNBA history with 7,000 points, 1,500 assists, and 1,500 boards.

“Today we showed a lot of progress,” Taurasi said. “You know, the opener, you’ll have games like that in a season. That’s just basketball, that’s just ebb and flow and the next game is really what counts. And I think today we showed what team we can be if we’re all focused and we concentrate on all the things that make us really good. And obviously when BG plays like that, it makes things a little easier.”

Leilani Mitchell scored 11 points, and Danielle Robinson added 10 for Phoenix (1-1), which avoided starting consecutive seasons with two straight losses. Mitchell had seven assists, Robinson added six, and the Mercury shot 51 percent.

Candice Dupree, an All-Star who spent the last seven seasons with the Mercury, scored 14 points for Indiana (0-2) to pass Swin Cash for 14th place on the WNBA’s career scoring list. Indiana was held to 35 percent shooting.