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Jun 3, 2024 8:01 pm

Losing skid behind them, Mercury try to snap Storm’s winning streak

Diana Taurasi

The Phoenix Mercury, who snapped a four-game losing streak Sunday, will go on the road Tuesday to face a Seattle Storm team that has won its last four games.

Phoenix’s four-game skid was capped by three consecutive losses on the road.

The Mercury (4-5) had a triumphant return home Sunday with an 87-68 win over the Los Angeles Sparks.

Diana Taurasi, 41, made seven 3-pointers and finished with 31 points.

“We had lost four in a row and coming back home, people were frustrated and disappointed in how that road trip went,” said Phoenix coach Nate Tibbetts, whose team lost at the Connecticut Sun, New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx in a span of four days.

“I was extremely proud (against Los Angeles). We were flying around and protecting one another.”

Phoenix’s defense limited Los Angeles to 3-of-14 shooting from the field in the second quarter, when the Mercury went on a 15-0 run to pull away.

Taurasi was 7-of-9 from beyond the arc, 9-of-14 from the field overall and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. She also had two steals.

Natasha Cloud had 21 points and 12 assists, achieving her third double-double of the season. Natasha Mack had a career-high 12 rebounds.

Seattle will play its first game in five days since beating the Indiana Fever 103-88 on the road Thursday.

The Storm have developed the phrase “Core Four” for their former WNBA All-Stars — Jewell Loyd, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Nneka Ogwumike and Ezi Magbegor — leading them to their recent success.

In the win over Indiana, Loyd had 22 points and six assists; Diggins-Smith added 18 points and nine assists; Ogwumike had 17 points, six rebounds and six assists; and Magbegor finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

“Grit, will, want to and heart,” Seattle coach Noelle Quinn said when asked to describe the “Core Four.”

“Those four have such synergy right now. They complement each other really well. They pour into each other in those moments, and they rely and lean on each other to just get the job done.”

–Field Level Media

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