Rebounding, poor shooting kill Mercury in loss to Lynxby Fabian Ardaya on Jun. 19, 2013, under Phoenix Mercury
Phoenix, Ariz.– The Phoenix Mercury had their three game winning streak cut short Wednesday night, as Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx out-rebounded and out-shot the Mercury to win 80-69.
Both teams slogged out to sloppy first quarters, with poor shooting from both sides.The only person who seemed to be able to get going in the early going was Minnesota’s Maya Moore, who had 9 points and 6 rebounds in just the first quarter.
Taurasi was able to get to the line towards the end of the quarter, and knocked down a huge three pointer to level things up at 15 early, giving the Mercury their first momentum of the game. The Merrcury were able to force the Lynx into foul trouble early in the game, allowing them to make up for their poor shooting (just 5-21 from the floor) and only trail 19-17 after one.
Taurasi, always a fiery personality, would pick up a technical in the second after arguing her foul on Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen. This was Taurasi’s second consecutive home game with a technical.
The poor shooting trend would continue into the second quarter as the Mercury would shoot a paltry 36.4% from the field, and the Lynx would shoot 39.5%, as the Lynx would lead 40-37
Maya Moore would prove to be the story of the first half for the Lynx, getting a double-double before halftime and being a huge presence on both ends of the floor. She would finish the half with 18 points with 10 rebounds on 6-11 shooting.
The Lynx would open up a 46-39 lead at the beginning of the third, but the Mercury picked up the pace and would come roaring back on a 7-0 run to tie things up with 5:11 left in the third. They would extend that run after the timeout to lead 54-48 with 3:05 left, causing another Lynx timeout.
Foul trouble would lead to even more Mercury points, giving them a 60-56 lead after three quarters. Taurasi led the way after three with 25 points, compared to 22 points and 11 rebounds from Maya Moore.
The Lynx would ride Moore and Lindsay Whalen on a 13-2 run to take a 69-62 lead with 5:50 left in the fourth. The Lynx’s lead would increase to as much as 14, and they would hold on to win 80-69. The Lynx out-rebounded the Mercury 48-26, as the Mercury shot just 34.4% from the field.
Mercury head coach Corey Gaines was disappointed with his team’s performance on the boards.
“Even with the bad shooting, we were still up in the game,” he said. “But if you get those rebounds, you don’t have to score when you get the ball, but you can’t give them the ball back to get those easy ones.”
Brittney Griner, who scored 10 points with seven rebounds in 22 minutes, was also disappointed with the mismatch on the boards.
“We just got to put a body on someone,” she said. “On the offensive and defensive boards.”
Maya Moore led the way for the Lynx with 26 points and 16 rebounds, compared to 28 points from Diana Taurasi. Taurasi would have six turnovers, which she says was unacceptable.
“There’s no excuse for that. That’s just being soft,” she said.
DeWanna Bonner would have a rough night that seemed to epitomize the Mercury Wednesday, scoring just four points in 35 minutes off of 0-13 shooting. Mercury head coach Corey Gaines had little to worry about his young star, saying she had an off night.
“She just had a bad shooting night,” he said. “She’s not tired.”
The loss brings the Mercury to 3-4, one half game behind Seattle for the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
NOTE: This stops the Mercury’s three game win streak. The Mercury (3-4) host the Washington Mystics (4-2) on Friday, June 21st.