Griner ejected after fight as Phoenix loses to Dallas
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Brittney Griner and five other players were ejected after a fight broke out midway through the fourth quarter of Dallas’ 80-77 win over Phoenix on Saturday night.
With 6:23 left in the final period, Griner and Wings forward Kristine Anigwe got tangled up in the lane and a scuffle ensued. The Mercury’s 6-foot-8 center had to be restrained by an official at midcourt where she was still trying to get at Dallas players.
After about a 10-minute review, the officials ejected Griner, Diana Taurasi and Briann January from Phoenix. Taurasi was inactive for the game, but was tossed for leaving the bench area. Anigwe, Kayla Thornton and Kaela Davis were ejected for Dallas.
Griner didn’t comment after the game.
Phoenix was leading 71-68 at that point.
Arike Ogunbowale scored Dallas’ first six points in an 8-2 run that gave the Wings a 79-77 lead when Isabelle Harrison took a steal coast-to-coast for a layup with 26 seconds to play. After an empty possession, the Mercury were forced to foul Ogunbowale, who finished with 23 points. She made the first free throw and missed the second, but chased down her own offensive rebound and the Wings dribbled out the final seconds.
The win snapped an 18-game road losing streak for Dallas dating back to July 12, 2018.
Allisha Gray added 16 points for the Wings (7-17).
Leilani Mitchell scored 23 points to lead the Mercury (11-12). Griner had 13 points, including her 12th dunk in the regular season, on her bobblehead night.
FEVER 87, DREAM 82
Erica Wheeler had 19 points and seven assists, Candice Dupree added 16 points and nine rebounds and the Indiana Fever beat Atlanta hand the Dream their ninth consecutive loss.
Teaira McCowan had 13 points, Natalie Achonwa 12 and Kelsey Mitchell 10 — including eight in the fourth quarter.
Brittney Sykes hit a 3-pointer to give Atlanta a nine-point lead with three minutes left in the third quarter, but the Fever (9-16) scored 22 of the next 30 points to make it 71-66 midway through the fourth quarter.
Atlanta, which came in shooting a WNBA-worst 36.3% from the field this season, shot 51.1% through the first three quarters before making just 6 of 20 from the field in the fourth. The Dream shot 43.9% overall, snapping a streak of eight consecutive games shooting less than 40%.
Tiffany Hayes led Atlanta (5-19) with a career-high 34 points. The Dream made a season-high 12 3-pointers but were outscored 21-12 at the free-throw line and committed 15 turnovers.
Atlanta is winless since beating the Minnesota Lynx 60-53 on July 12 and has lost six in a row on the road.