Mercury go on road to face Wings
The Phoenix Mercury started their run of four road games in seven days with an upset loss to the Atlanta Dream on Sunday, ending a four-game winning streak that included three victories away from home.
The Mercury (14-6) are in the midst of playing seven of eight games on the road and Mercury coach Sandy Brondello is concerned the odd schedule could be taking a toll. They next play Tuesday at the Dallas Wings, who are 10-8 after three consecutive wins.
The good news is Phoenix has played well away from home, despite Sunday’s 76-70 loss at Atlanta, with the most road wins in the WNBA with a 9-3 record. The Mercury are 5-3 at home.
“We are very busy,” Brondello said of the arduous schedule. “We love what we do and the assistants do a great job putting the clips together for the players to watch. We spend a lot time watching film.
“Our job is to prepare the team, and we just get into a routine. We have been good on the road, we don’t mind the road … it is just one game at a time. We have to be ready to play every single one and get the rest where we can.”
Diana Taurasi scored 19 to lead the Mercury against Atlanta. Brittney Griner added 18 points and Leilani Mitchell contributed 10, including three on a 3-pointer with 47.3 seconds left that cut the Dream’s lead to 73-68. Atlanta made free throws in the waning seconds to hold off the Mercury, who trailed 62-39 at one point in the game.
Phoenix is 2-0 against Dallas, including a 75-72 win on the Wings’ home court June 12.
Griner outplayed Dallas post player Liz Cambage in their second matchup of the season. Griner had 18 points and five rebounds while Cambage mustered 10 points and only three rebounds. Both players fouled out.
“I was not really happy with some of the situational outcomes on our end that didn’t go for us,” Dallas coach Fred Williams said of the game. “I thought it got physical. We just have to play through it.”
Cambage recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds in Dallas’ 97-87 win at New York on Sunday.
Skylar Diggins-Smith led all scorers for the day with 32. It increased her total to 54 games with at least 20 points, a franchise record. It also gave her eight 30-point games, which is also a new franchise record.