Mercury skid reaches 3 with 84-77 loss to Indiana

July 19, 2017

PHOENIX  -- Erica Wheeler had 20 points and seven assists, Candice Dupree scored 17 points, and the Indiana Fever snapped a five-game losing streak with an 84-77 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday.

Wheeler's no-look pass to Erlana Larkins for an open layup extended Indiana's lead to 77-72 with 3:27 to go. After Dupree's steal, Briann January hit a jumper for an 81-77 lead with 48.5 seconds left.

Diana Taurasi missed two 3-pointers on consecutive possessions with under a minute to play and Wheeler went 3 for 4 at the line for Indiana (8-12).

Taurasi made six 3-pointers and scored 34 points for Phoenix (11-9), which lost its third consecutive game. Taurasi had 19 of the Mercury's 39 first-half points and finished 9 of 20 from the field for her second 30-plus game of the season. Monique Curry scored 12 for Phoenix, but no other Mercury player had more than six.

"It was a winnable game," Taurasi said. "I think these are the ones that really hurt in the long run -- home game against a team coming off a loss to LA. But, Indiana played well they did a lot of good things out there. At the same time we did, but we didn’t have enough to close the game and make plays in the fourth."

Brittney Griner did not play for Phoenix because of knee and ankle injuries.

"We didn’t execute the way we wanted to," Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said. "We had too many break downs defensively. Then, offensively we just missed too many shots. We shot 37 percent from the field and we had a lot of high percentage shots, but I think we were 10 of 29 in the paint. We have to finish plays when we can, and we can’t just rely on Dee (Diana Taurasi) to do it. Obviously we lost a real special player for us, but others just need to step up, and we will."

Next up is the All-Star break, with the Mercury not back in action until next Tuesday at Atlanta. Phoenix will play nine of its remaining 14 games on the road.

 


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