Mercury 96, Shock 74
TULSA, Okla. (AP)
One game after not scoring a point, DeWanna Bonner tied her career-high Tuesday night with 25, leading Phoenix to a 96-74 victory over Tulsa, snapping the Shock's two-game winning streak.
Bonner attempted just two shots in the Mercury's win at Washington on Sunday. Against Tulsa, she was 8 of 12 from the field.
''I came out a little more focused,'' Bonner said. ''I was looking for my shot, being a little more aggressive. I guess it worked out.''
When told of her stats and tying her career high in points, Bonner said, ''Really? I was focused, that's all it was.''
''I think DB was shaving points the last game,'' Dupree said with a laugh. ''She had to make up for it tonight. She came in focused, hit her open shots. If we can get her to play like that every game, we'll be hard to beat.''
Added Taurasi, ''If you think about it, she's a starter on every other team. She's an all-star in this league. For us, she plays a huge role in being a No. 1 threat. We need her.''
For Taurasi, her 23-point performance was her ninth consecutive game when she scored 20 or more. Phoenix guard Temeka Johnson added 14 points.
Tulsa trailed by as many as 28, but put together a late second-half surge behind rookie Liz Cambage, who finished with 16 points, hitting 7 of 9 field goals.
Joining her in double figures were Ivory Latta with 15 and Amber Holt with 11,
''Tulsa has really improved, they have more energy now,'' Phoenix coach Corey Gaines said. ''We just came out with a lot of energy. They got down and it was tough on them. They started to run and we are a running team, so it worked in our favor.''
Bonner said the Mercury were aware of Tulsa's two-game win streak.
''We didn't want to be their third,'' Bonner said. ''We got off to a quick start, got some good ball movement, cuts to the basket. We tried to get some transition going. They came back in the third behind Liz and we just had to stop her.''
With Tuesday's win, Gaines became the team's career leader in victories with 71.
''That's great for Corey,'' Taurasi said. ''He deserves it. He and I came up through the ranks together. So, really cool for Corey.''
Tulsa interim coach Teresa Edwards said the Shock just wore down.
''For us it has just been a lot of games. Unfortunately we have a schedule that is packed with, what, nine games in 16 days?'' she said. ''That's just a little too many games and it's catching up to us right now. I think we're really tired. I think, in our minds, we wanted to play hard. We wanted to go out and do well again. But we just couldn't do it. I kind of recognized that early in the game.''
Edwards praised Cambage's play.
''I didn't think, sizewise, they could match up to her,'' Edwards said.
Bonner attempted just two shots in the Mercury's win at Washington on Sunday. Against Tulsa, she was 8 of 12. Teammate Diana Taurasi scored 23 points to get her ninth consecutive 20-point game.
Starters Tameka Johnson and Candice Dupree finished with 16 and 14 points, respectively, for Phoenix (17-12).
Tulsa (3-26) trailed by as many as 28, but put together a late second-half rally behind rookie Liz Cambage, who finished with 16 points. Joining her in double figures were Ivory Latta with 15 and Amber Holt with 11.