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Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Kahleah Copper, Brittney Griner Lead Mercury to Victory Over Dallas Wings

By meerna Jul11,2024
Kahleah Copper, Brittney Griner Lead Mercury to Victory Over Dallas Wings

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In a match that was without Diana Taurasi for the second straight year, the Phoenix Mercury were boosted by strong performances from Kahleah Copper and Brittney Griner on Wednesday.

The cheers were loud as the Mercury (12-10) cruised to a 100-84 victory at the Footprint Center in a matinee game against the Dallas Wings (5-18). The game was billed as Camp Day, and the Mercury hosted 110 coaches of local youth campers.

After falling behind by eight points in the first quarter, the Mercury fought back in the second quarter to keep the lead in their final home game before the Olympic break.

Copper electrified the Mercury with 32 points on 12-of-19 shooting, while the team shot 36-of-61 (59%) from the field. Griner added 23 points and hit two 3-pointers.

The Mercury lineup was bolstered by winger Becca Allen, who returned from a lower back injury. She scored eight points in 20 minutes, which were limited as she recovered from the injury.

Taurasi remains day-to-day with a left calf strain. She last appeared on July 3 against the Wings, where she played 30 minutes and scored 16 points. Taurasi, along with Copper and Griner, was named to Team USA for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.

After building an early lead, Phoenix allowed Dallas to go on a 14-5 run. Wings power forward Natasha Howard, who scored 36 points in the teams’ last meeting, scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first quarter but was limited to just nine points and three field goal attempts the rest of the way.

“We were getting the ball better on defense,” coach Nate Tibbetts said. “Kiki (Herbert Harrigan) really stepped up and we kept her in the lineup because we wanted her to go to Howard. We made some changes to some players and didn’t want (Natasha) Cloud to be struggling with (the power forward). I thought Kiki handled the physicality of the offense well and forced herself to work, especially in the last three quarters.”

Facing one of the WNBA’s greatest frontcourts, the Mercury were early underdogs inside the three-second zone and fell behind by 18 points to the Wings. The Mercury adjusted and limited the Wings to single-digit points inside the three-second zone in each quarter after.

Herbert Harrigan started his second straight game for Phoenix and looked more confident. Herbert Harrigan blocked a layup attempt by Sevgi Uzun at 6:37 of the second quarter and then scored 2 of 2 field goals to help the Mercury cut the Wings’ lead to three points. Herbert Harrigan finished with 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

Before joining the Mercury this season, Herbert Harrigan played 22 games over two years in the WNBA.

“I belong to the W, I feel like I’ve always said that,” Herbert Harrigan said. “I work hard every day, so every time it goes up, I think it’s going to go down.”

The Mercury’s next match will be on Friday at 4:30 p.m. when they will take on Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever.

By meerna

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