WNBA

Mercury-Mystics Preview

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Following a career-best outing from DeWanna Bonner, the Phoenix Mercury are in position to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Phoenix will take on the Eastern Conference-worst Washington Mystics on Sunday.

While the Mercury (4-9) have struggled without Penny Taylor (ACL) and Diana Taurasi (hip flexor), they have won two of their last four, including an 84-81 victory over Chicago on Friday.

Phoenix prevailed despite being further short-handed as forwards Candice Dupree and Nakia Sanford sat out a fourth straight game with knee contusions. Bonner scored a career-high 27 points, and the Mercury held on after failing to protect a 14-point lead.

"We have so many injuries that we just rallied and said, 'Yeah, we're young, but let's get some wins and let's get rolling and play with some spirit and let's play with some energy,'" said Samantha Prahalis, who finished with 14 points.

With all the injuries, Bonner continues to carry the team. She's averaged 24.7 points over the last three games and is now third in the league in scoring with 20.4 per game. Bonner's career-high scoring average was 12.0 points in 2010.

"She's our go-to player now," coach Corey Gaines told the Mercury's official website. "We try to get her as many shots as we can. She is starting to come into her own and she knows where to get her shot from."

Bonner will look to keep things going against the Mystics (2-10), who have the second-worst record in the WNBA and have lost five straight, including an 80-77 defeat to Phoenix on June 20.

Bonner had 19 points in that victory while Prahalis scored seven of her 15 in the final 2:02 and made the tiebreaking layup with 23 seconds left.

Washington's skid continued Friday with a 77-64 home loss to Connecticut after shooting 32.5 percent.

"When you don't make shots, it's a little deflating," coach Trudi Lacey said. "We came out and missed a couple of shots and turned the ball over. It takes us out of our offensive rhythm."

The Mystics have averaged 63.3 points and shot 36.0 percent over the last three games. For the season, they are putting up a league-worst 68.1 points per game and shooting 41.5 percent.

Monique Currie will try to help Washington end its slide. She had a season-high 21 points Friday after scoring 15 the previous game. Currie had one of her better games of the season against Phoenix with 20 points.

Washington hasn't lost six in a row since a nine-game skid in August.

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