WNBA: Mercury pull away from Aces in OT, Storm overcome Sparks

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jul 08 2021 02:58 PM

WNBA: Mercury pull away from Aces in OT, Storm overcome Sparks 1
The Phoenix Mercury huddle up before the game against the Minnesota Lynx on July 3, 2021 at the Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. File photo.. Barry Gossage, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP.


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

Skylar Diggins-Smith added 27 to help lead the Mercury (8-9), who bounced back 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 due to undisclosed "soreness" after going through pregame warmups, and she scored 13 points.

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

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

Kia Nurse's 3-pointer gave the Mercury a 56-45 edge in the third quarter before the visitors went ice cold.

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 to go in the third, leaving Las Vegas with a 63-58 lead.

Brianna Turner made two free throws that pulled Phoenix even at 69 early in the fourth quarter.

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

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

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

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

-- Breanna Stewart leads Storm to win over Sparks -- 

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

Stewart, who also had three steals, made 8 of 15 shots from the floor and was 2 of 5 from 3-point range. 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 Los Angeles' previous game due to 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 made 8 of 13 shots from the floor.

No other Sparks player scored in double figures.

-- Kayla McBride scores 25 to carry Lynx past Wings -- 

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

McBride made 9 of 13 shots from the floor to continue her torrid stretch. She has scored 75 points over the last three games.

Sylvia Fowles collected 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 defeated Dallas for the second time in three meetings this season.

Allisha Gray scored 13 points off the bench and Satou Sabally collected 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 putback trimmed Minnesota's lead to 80-79 before Fowles answered at the other end to regain a three-point advantage with 54.4 seconds to play.

Dallas' Kayla Thornton misfired on a 3-point attempt following a timeout. McBride made three free throws to seal the victory.