ARLINGTON, Texas — The star matchups were set for a Tuesday night affair at College Park Center in Downtown Arlington. Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner were in town with the Mercury who were riding a five game win streak to face WNBA leading scorer Skylar Diggins-Smith and the Dallas Wings.
The Wings came out on fire early and jumped on the Mercury dominating in the paint with Liz Cambage and capitalizing on the fast break while containing Taurasi for most of the half. In the last minute of the half Taurasi hit a couple free throws and a corner triple but Dallas still lead at the break, 40-37.
Brittney Griner scored 18 points against the Wings.
The Phoenix Mercury regained the lead early in the second half as the Wings came out cold and weren’t able to get the easy buckets down low. It was a very physical third quarter where Dallas found itself at the line often and were able to regain control midway through and had an eight point lead, 59-51 heading to the fourth.
The defensive intensity and physicality was kicked up a notch by both teams and field goal percentages dropped. There were a lot of whistles and questionable calls on both sides. The officiating was tight and both Dallas and Phoenix had players in foul trouble. Griner had to sit for some time in the fourth quarter and Cambage fouled out for Dallas which hurt the Wings late.
Taurasi drew a foul late in the fourth on Diggins-Smith and Skylar wasn’t very pleased and was hit with a technical foul. Taurasi hit all three free throws and tied it at 69 with 2:54 left. She would stay perfect from the line and Phoenix’s Bonner, Lyttle and January hit some clutch free throws late while Stevens missed a freebie for Dallas that would have tied the game with 1:29 left. Diggins-Smith missed a three at the buzzer and Phoenix escaped Arlington with their sixth straight victory, 75-72.
Taurasi finished with 21 and Griner had 18 points. Skylar Diggins-Smith struggled from the field but was perfect from the line and finished with 16 points to lead the five Wings in double figures. Phoenix will host the top seeded Connecticut Sun next and Dallas will look to rebound at home against the Aces.