Taurasi scores 35 to lead Mercury past Shock

Box score

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Diana Taurasi scored 35 points and Penny Taylor added 29 to lead the defending champion Phoenix Mercury to a 110-96 victory over the Tulsa Shock on Tuesday night.

Candice DuPree had 14 points and 14 rebounds and DeWanna Bonner scored 10 points for Phoenix (2-1), which shot 45 percent from the field. The Mercury were 16 for 36 on 3-pointers, tying a league record for 3s made — previously done by Minnesota last season and Connecticut in 2007.

“We were shooting the ball pretty well. We got some good looks and knocked them down, so that’s a good sign for us for the next game.” Taurasi said.

Taurasi was 8 for 13 from beyond the arc and Taylor was 6 for 12. Taylor also had seven assists and six rebounds.

Amber Holt scored 20 points and Shanna Crossley and Scholanda Robinson had 13 apiece for the Shock (1-3), who shot 47 percent but were just 4 for 16 on 3s.

“We were shooting the ball pretty well. We got some good looks and knocked them down, so that’s a good sign for us for the next game,” Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson said.

Chante Black had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Plenette Pierson added 11 points for Tulsa. Former Olympic sprinter Marion Jones finished with two rebounds and no points in 3:36. The Shock, coming off a win at Minnesota on Sunday, dropped to 0-3 in their new home since moving from Detroit in the offseason.

Tulsa tied the score at 80-all on Natasha Lacy’s basket with about 2 minutes left in the third. However, it was all Phoenix from there as the Mercury outscored the Shock 30-16 the rest of the way.

Temeka Johnson’s jumper started a 7-0 run that gave Phoenix an 87-80 lead after three quarters. Crossley’s 3 with 8:47 left in the fourth pulled the Shock within four, but they got no closer the rest of the way.

“We just made shots. It always comes down to the same this, just making shots. We made them; they didn’t,” Phoenix coach Corey Gaines said.

Taurasi’s final points came on a jumper with 7:24 to go that pushed Phoenix’s lead to 95-85, and Taylor made consecutive 3s to stretch the advantage to 15 with 2:06 left.

The Mercury looked as if they were going to run away with it as Taylor’s 3 gave them a 43-27 lead with about 8 minutes to go in the second quarter. However, Tulsa answered back with a 21-5 run that tied the score at 48-all with 2:58 left in the first half.

The Shock pulled ahead 50-49 with 2:02 to go in the half after an 18-foot jumper from Robinson.

Taylor made another 3 to give Phoenix a 58-53 lead at halftime.

Updatd May 25, 2010