Mercury release 2012 schedule

Mercury release 2012 schedule

Published Jan. 19, 2012 1:19 p.m. ET

The WNBA on Thursday announced the Phoenix Mercury’s full 34-game schedule for the 2012 season, which runs from May 20-Sept. 23 and includes a month-long Olympic hiatus from July 14-Aug. 15.

The Mercury tip off the WNBA season against the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday, May 20 at 9:30 a.m. PT on ABC, making it the second consecutive year the Mercury will face the defending champions in their season opener.

Phoenix's home opener is on Saturday, May 26 at 7 p.m. against Candace Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks, who own the No. 1 pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft. It’s the first of 13 weekend (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) home games for the Mercury.

The Mercury will make three appearances on ABC and ESPN2, starting with the season opener at Minnesota and concluding with the regular-season finale on Sept. 23 vs. Seattle at noon PT on ESPN2. Phoenix hosts Los Angeles on Saturday, June 23 at 5 p.m. PT, which will air on ESPN2. The national broadcast schedule is subject to change.

The Mercury will twice play host to the defending champion Lynx (June 15 and Sept. 21) and Western Conference rival Seattle Storm (July 13 and Sept. 23). Cappie Pondexter and the New York Liberty visit Phoenix on Thursday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m., and 2011 WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever come to the Valley on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.

The Mercury open the season with a pair of road games for the second straight season and plays four of their first five contests away from Phoenix, including a back-to-back road set at defending Eastern Conference champion Atlanta on May 31 and at San Antonio on June 1. The schedule features just one other back-to-back, which comes July 7 at home against Atlanta and July 8 at Seattle.

The remaining road slate is highlighted by a season-high four-game road trip from June 27-July 3 beginning in Minnesota and ending in San Antonio, with the Chicago Sky and Washington Mystics rounding out the trip. Phoenix also makes a three-game East Coast swing from Sept. 5-9 at New York, Connecticut and Indiana.

The Western Conference slate features five meetings with Seattle -- three of which are at Key Arena, where the Mercury upset the Storm in Game 3 of the 2011 Western Conference semifinals -- and five meetings with Los Angeles, three of which come at US Airways Center, including the Mercury’s annual matinee contest on July 10 at 12:30 p.m.

A complete 2012 Phoenix Mercury schedule appears below. A full broadcast schedule will be released at a later date.

Sun.   20    @ Minnesota    9:30 a.m.    ABC
Tue.    22    @ Tulsa    5 p.m.    
Sat.    26    LOS ANGELES    7 p.m.    
Thu.    31    @ Atlanta    4 p.m.    
Fri.     1    @ San Antonio    5 p.m.    
Sun.   3    TULSA    3 p.m.    
Fri.     8    @ Los Angeles    8 p.m.    
Fri.    15    MINNESOTA    7 p.m.    
Sun.   17    @ Tulsa    1 p.m.    
Wed.  20    WASHINGTON    7 p.m.    
Sat.    23    LOS ANGELES    5 p.m.    ESPN2
Wed   27    @ Minnesota    5 p.m.    
Fri.     29    @ Chicago    5:30 p.m.    
Sun.   1    @ Washington    1 p.m.    
Tue.   3    @ San Antonio    5 p.m.    
Sat.    7    ATLANTA    7 p.m.    
Sun.   8    @ Seattle    6 p.m.    
Tue.   10    LOS ANGELES    12:30 p.m.    
Fri.    13    SEATTLE    7 p.m.
Olympic break July 14-Aug. 15

Thu.    16    @ Seattle    7 p.m.    
Sun.    19    SAN ANTONIO    3 p.m.    
Thu.    23    NEW YORK    7 p.m.    
Sat.     25    INDIANA    7 p.m.    
Thu.    30    @ Seattle    7 p.m.    
Sat.     1    SAN ANTONIO    7 p.m.    
Wed.   5    @ New York    4 p.m.    
Fri.      7    @ Connecticut    4 p.m.    
Sun.    9    @ Indiana    3 p.m.    
Wed.  12    CONNECTICUT    7 p.m.    
Fri.    14    TULSA    7 p.m.    
Sun.   16    CHICAGO    3 p.m.    
Tue.   18    @ Los Angeles    7:30 p.m.    
Fri.     21    MINNESOTA    7 p.m.    
Sun.   23    SEATTLE    12 p.m.    ESPN2

Home games bolded and in caps
Tip-off times reflect Phoenix time