The Phoenix Mercury provided more evidence they could win it all.
(Dori Williams also contributed reporting to this story)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Saturday night, the Washington Mystics (10-6) fell to the Phoenix Mercury (13-5) 84-74, in a game where the Mystics just made too many mistakes to keep up with the Mercury, who showed once again why they are a real threat to break up the Minnesota Lynx vs. Los Angeles Sparks finals rivalry.
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Elena Delle Donne was the highest scorer in the game, with 27 points and 13 rebounds, but Brittney Griner (24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks) and DeWanna Bonner (23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) kept the Mercury’s offense clicking.
The Mercury pulled ahead early, and while the Mystics were able to keep coming back time and time again – it was a one-possession game with under a minute – the Mystics seemed to shoot themselves in the foot every time the game got within reach with a missed open shot or a sloppy turnover. The Mercury are simply too good for that to fly.
But this game shouldn’t be too discouraging for the Mystics. They were within striking distance at the end, and were able to hold the Mercury to seven second-chance points, and almost kept up with them on the boards – the Mercury only had two more rebounds in the whole game.
The Mystics missed a few easy layups – Mo Currie, who was an uncharacteristic 0-for-6 against her former team, would certainly like to have a few back – and Kristi Toliver was only 1-for-8 from beyond the arc; even with the good defense by the Mercury, on most nights you can put her down for a couple more of those.
The Mystics also had 12 turnovers which led to 17 Mercury points, versus just eight turnovers for six Mystics points from Phoenix. While the Mystics don’t have a top trio that is as dangerous as Taurasi, Griner, and Bonner, the combination of depth and Delle Donne give the Mystics a chance; they just can’t afford to botch the basics.