WNBA: Brittney Griner dunks, carries Mercury past Wings

It marked the second consecutive 27-point performance for Griner, who also pulled down 16 rebounds as Phoenix Mercury ended its two-game losing streak.

Brittney Griner scored 27 points to pave the way as the Phoenix Mercury led wire-to-wire in an 89-85 victory over the host Dallas Wings.   -  AFP

Brittney Griner scored 27 points to pave the way as the Phoenix Mercury led wire-to-wire in an 89-85 victory over the host Dallas Wings Saturday night.

It marked the second consecutive 27-point performance for Griner, who also pulled down 16 rebounds, as the Mercury (3-3) ended their two-game losing streak.

Kia Nurse drilled five 3-pointers and finished with 21 while Skylar Diggins-Smith poured in 21 as well.

Marina Mabrey scored 24 points, hitting two free throws with 10.5 seconds to play to get the Wings as close as 87-84.

Arike Ogunbowale also scored 24 for the Wings (1-4), who lost their fourth in a row.

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Tyasha Harris (13) and Kayla Thornton (10) also scored in double figures for Dallas.

Phoenix opened with an 11-0 run thanks in part to Diggins-Smith, who played for the Wings/Tulsa Shock franchise for six seasons.

Diggins-Smith hit her first three shots, including a 3-pointer that pushed the Phoenix lead to 14-3.

The Wings trailed by as many as 16 after Brianna Turner stretched the Mercury lead to 21-5 with a layup.

Dallas wasn't deterred.

 

Ogunbowale drilled a 3-pointer that rolled around the rim and in, trimming the Mercury lead to 26-20 with 9:36 to play in the half.

Ogunbowale drove into the lane a minute later, getting bumped by Griner but still making the layup to close the gap to 26-24.

Dallas trailed 44-37 at halftime.

Griner poured in 15 of her points in the opening half on 7-of-10 shooting. Running along the baseline with 7:09 to go in the fourth, Griner threw down a one-hand dunk - her first dunk since 2019 and the 13th of her WNBA career, according to the Arizona Republic.

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Phoenix shot 50 percent and Dallas shot at a 36.7 percent clip.

Nurse knocked down her fourth 3-pointer of the night for a 56-47 lead early in the third.

Moriah Jefferson answered with her own long-distance shot to cut the lead to 56-50 with 6:42 remaining in the third.

The Wings pulled within 73-70 after Thornton made two free throws with 5:14 left. She injured her ankle on the foul but stayed in the game.

This game counted towards the Commissioner's Cup. Both teams entered the night with 1-1 marks.

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