WNBA: Mercury moves away from Aces in OT, Storm overcomes Sparks

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The Phoenix Mercury gather before the game against the Minnesota Lynx on July 3, 2021 at the Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. Archive photo. Barry Gossage, NBAE via Getty Images / AFP.

Brittney Griner scored 33 points, a season-high, and 10 rebounds as the visiting Phoenix Mercury overcame Diana Taurasi’s absence to beat the Las Vegas Aces 99-90 in overtime on Wednesday night.

Skylar Diggins-Smith added 27 to help lead the Mercury (8-9), which rebounded from a 31-point loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday in which Griner had just six points.

Sophie Cunningham started in place of Taurasi, who was a last-minute scratch from an undisclosed “pain” after undergoing pre-game warm-ups, and she scored 13 points.

A’ja Wilson had 25 points and 12 rebounds, Chelsea Gray added 19, Liz Cambage scored 16, Jackie Young had 12 and Kelsey Plum 10 to lead the Aces (14-5), who had won four. consecutive wins.

Griner took a hook and two jumpers and Diggins-Smith added a 3 point as the Mercury scored the first nine points in overtime. The Aces didn’t score until Gray’s 3 point with 49.8 seconds left in the extra session.

Kia Nurse’s 3-point gave the Mercury a 56-45 advantage in the third quarter before the visitors froze.

The Aces scored the next 18 points as Phoenix went scoreless for more than six minutes. Diggins-Smith’s two free throws ended the drought with 5.4 seconds left in the third, leaving Las Vegas with a 63-58 lead.

Brianna Turner made two free throws that brought Phoenix back to 69 at the start of the fourth quarter.

The score was tied five more times, the last at 84 after Wilson’s two free throws with five seconds remaining. Cambage blocked Griner’s shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

Las Vegas had a 20-17 lead before Griner scored four points and Megan Walker hit a 3 to give Phoenix a 24-20 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Wilson had two baskets and an assist as Las Vegas tied at 26.

The Mercury scored the next seven points, and Cunningham’s 3 point with 1.9 seconds left gave Phoenix a 50-43 halftime lead.

– Breanna Stewart leads Storm to defeat Sparks –

Breanna Stewart produced 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Seattle Storm to a 71-62 win over the Los Angeles Sparks Wednesday night in Everett, Wash.

Stewart, who also had three interceptions, had 8 of 15 shots on the ground and finished 2 of 5 with 3 points. She made 9 of 10 free throws.

Jewell Loyd added 18 points for the Storm (15-4), who won their third straight game. Loyd, who had missed the previous Los Angeles game with a sprained left ankle, made 5 of 13 shots. She also had six rebounds, three turnovers and two assists.

Erica Wheeler led the Sparks (6-12) with 22 points. It wasn’t enough as the Sparks lost their fifth straight game.

Wheeler took 8 of 13 shots from the ground.

No other Sparks player has scored in double digits.

– Kayla McBride scores 25 to carry Lynx beyond the Wings –

Kayla McBride scored 25 points to take host Minnesota Lynx to an 85-79 victory over the Dallas Wings Wednesday in Minneapolis.

McBride took 9 of 13 shots from the ground to continue his scorching stretch. She has scored 75 points in the last three games.

Sylvia Fowles had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Lynx (10-7), who have won five in a row and 10 of their last 13.

Napheesa Collier was held scoreless in the first half before finishing with 10 points. Layshia Clarendon, Damiris Dantas and Bridget Carleton also had 10 points as Minnesota beat Dallas for the second time in three games this season.

Allisha Gray scored 13 points off the bench and Satou Sabally had 12 points and a career-high seven assists for the Wings (9-11). Isabelle Harrison had 12 points and Arike Ogunbowale added 11.

Harrison’s setback reduced Minnesota’s lead to 80-79 before Fowles responded on the other end to regain a three-point advantage with 54.4 seconds left.

Kayla Thornton of Dallas missed a 3-point attempt after a timeout. McBride made three free throws to seal the victory.


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