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Jul 1, 2024 1:29 am

Mercury leaning on short memory with Sun up next

mercury, fever

The Phoenix Mercury have no time to dwell on their latest loss.

After falling to the Indiana Fever, Phoenix will be back in action on Monday night when it completes a back-to-back with a meeting against the visiting Connecticut Sun.

Despite getting 24 points and six rebounds from Brittney Griner and 19 points from Diana Taurasi on Sunday, the Mercury (9-9) dropped to .500 with an 88-82 loss against Indiana. Phoenix was outscored 50-33 over the final 20 minutes of action.

“We’ve got a quick turnaround for a game (Monday),” Mercury guard Natasha Cloud said. “So it’s resetting and refocusing.”

Phoenix coughed up a 15-point lead in the setback, but Taurasi believes the mistakes the Mercury made are fixable.

“We’ll learn from it and get better,” Taurasi said. “We needed better movement. Those are all things that are in our hands and controllable.”

Connecticut (14-4) could also use a boost. The Sun are just 1-3 over their past four games, and they are coming off Friday’s 78-74 loss to the Atlanta Dream.

DeWanna Bonner finished with a team-high 17 points for Connecticut, which also got 15 points from DiJonai Carrington and 14 from Alyssa Thomas. The Sun are trying to become less predictable, and coach Stephanie White has been moving point guard Tyasha Harris off the ball at times to give the team’s offense a different look.

“It allowed her to be just a spot-up shooter,” White said.

Monday marks the second game of the four-game season series between the teams. Playing in Uncasville, Conn., on May 28, the Sun cruised to a 70-47 victory over Phoenix behind 19 points from Bonner.

No one on the Mercury scored more than nine points in the loss. Phoenix shot just 23.8 percent (15 of 63) from the field.

However, Phoenix was without Griner for that game, as she was dealing with a toe injury at the time. In eight games this season, Griner ranks second on the Mercury with 19.9 points per contest to go along with an average of 7.4 rebounds.

Phoenix will also be hoping for a home crowd similar to Sunday’s. Over 17,000 fans packed into Footprint Center, partly due to star rookie Caitlin Clark taking the floor for the Fever. The Mercury have yet to lose two home games in a row this season.

Bonner is averaging a team-high 16.7 points per game for Connecticut.

–Field Level Media

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