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Jun 19, 2024 12:21 am

Mercury rally in 4th to end Liberty’s winning streak

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Diana Taurasi had 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists and Brittney Griner also scored 19 points as the Phoenix Mercury recorded a 99-93 victory over the visiting New York Liberty on Tuesday night.

Kahleah Copper and Rebecca Allen added 17 points apiece as Phoenix halted New York’s eight-game winning streak. Sophie Cunningham added 13 points and Natasha Cloud had 11 for the Mercury (8-7), who won for the fourth time in five games.

Breanna Stewart had 28 points, five assists and five steals and Sabrina Ionescu added 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for New York (12-3). Jonquel Jones had 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Liberty, who matched the WNBA record of 18 3-pointers (out of 42 attempts).

New York shot 42.1 percent overall. Betnijah Laney-Hamilton had 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists, and Kayla Thornton added 12 points.

Stewart hit all four of her 3-point attempts while Thornton was 4 of 6. Ionescu was 4 of 14.

For Phoenix, Allen made 5 of 7 from 3-point range, Taurasi was 4 of 7 and Cunningham hit 3 of 4. The Mercury made 15 of 30 from 3-point range while shooting 55.1 percent overall.

Phoenix trailed by seven entering the fourth quarter but used an 11-3 burst to take the lead. Allen’s 3-pointer capped the run for an 80-79 edge with 7:43 remaining in the game.

New York pulled within 86-85 on Laney-Hamilton’s 3-pointer with 4:53 left.

A basket by Griner gave the Mercury a 92-89 lead with 3:03 left, but Phoenix committed turnovers on its ensuing three possessions. Taurasi then connected from 3-point range with 1:33 left to give Phoenix a 95-91 lead.

Laney-Hamilton hit a 15-foot turnaround with 48.8 seconds left to bring New York within two. However, Griner connected on a layup with 29.4 seconds to go and added two free throws with 7.3 seconds left as Phoenix closed it out.

Taurasi scored 12 first-half points to help Phoenix hold a 50-46 advantage. Stewart and Jones had 12 points apiece in the half for New York.

New York opened the third quarter with consecutive 3-pointers from Thornton, Ionescu and Laney-Hamilton. Later, Stewart canned three treys in a span of 91 seconds as the Liberty took a 69-57 lead with 4:05 left in the period.

Jones buried a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in the third and New York led 76-69 entering the final stanza.

–Field Level Media

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