Injury report: Griner and Taurasi out for Sunday’s rematch with Lynx

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 14: Diana Taurasi
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 14: Diana Taurasi /

How quickly things change.

Entering a home-and-home set on Friday against the Minnesota Lynx, the Phoenix Mercury were riding a four-game winning streak, offering a strong sign that a reconfigured team was emerging from the pack.

Move ahead to Sunday evening, and Phoenix will face Minnesota again without their two best players: Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi. Both were listed in the Mercury injury report that was published on Sunday morning. Griner is out for several weeks with a bone bruise in her left knee and a right ankle sprain. Taurasi did not travel with the Mercury for Sunday’s game, although no explanation was offered at the time of the release.

Whatever the reason, Phoenix faces a significant conundrum in their rematch with Minnesota. Griner and Taurasi are featured heavily in the Mercury offense, with both in the league’s top five in usage percentage. Griner was leading the league in scoring and blocks, and her efficiency rating of 30.0 ranked third.

The 35-year-old Taurasi remains a consistent threat on offense. The WNBA’s all-time leading scorer is averaging 17.9 points per game this season, good for seventh on the league leader board. Taurasi also leads the league in three-point field goals, although she struggled behind the arc in the two previous meetings with the Lynx.

To borrow a parlance from “Coach Carter,” Phoenix will have some new leading scorers for at least one game.