Following an inconsistent rookie season, Brittney Griner has gotten off to an impressive start while helping the Phoenix Mercury open 2-0 for the first time since their 2009 championship season.
Now Griner and the Mercury are hoping to build on a big road win as they return home looking to equal the best start in franchise history Friday night against the San Antonio Stars.
Griner, the first overall pick in the 2013 draft, has totaled 32 points on 14-of-21 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds and nine blocks in a pair of victories to open her second WNBA season.
The 6-foot-8 center fell just shy of the franchise record for most field goals without a miss Saturday, shooting 8 for 9 in an 81-64 home victory over Seattle. She overcame a slow start Sunday to score 11 of her 13 points in the second half in a 74-69 road win over a talented Los Angeles team which was 15-2 at home last season.
"I mean, I came in with more confidence, I came in with more poise," Griner told the team’s official website.
Griner certainly seems to have raised her game following a rookie season in which she averaged 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks while missing seven games due to injury. She’ll try to continue her strong start against the Stars as Phoenix tries to match the 1998 team as the only ones to start 3-0 in franchise history.
The All-Star played a major role in last season’s five-game series with San Antonio. She averaged 18.3 points, including a career-high 26 in the first meeting, and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 62.9 percent in Phoenix’s three wins. Griner missed one of the Mercury’s losses with a sprained knee and was held to 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting with four boards in the other.
Teammate Diana Taurasi, who finished with 23 points Sunday, scored at least 20 in four of the five meetings.
Coming off Saturday’s 80-76 home win over Tulsa, San Antonio (1-1) will try to accomplish something it did only twice last season by recording a second straight victory.
Jia Perkins hit all four of her 3-point attempts and finished with 20 points Saturday, while Danielle Robinson added 17. Becky Hammon, who played one game in 2013 because of a broken finger and torn ACL, missed her second game because of a sprained ankle and is uncertain for this contest.
"We have a lot of work to do," coach Dan Hughes said. "We need to get Becky back on the court and I think that will be good for them."
Robinson, who has totaled 40 points on 15-of-22 shooting through two games, averaged 16.0 points and 9.0 assists in three versus Phoenix in 2013.
Danielle Adams, who had 18 points in the season opener but was held to four Saturday, scored 18.2 per game in last season’s series.