After a shaky 0-3 start to the 2011 WNBA season, the Phoenix Mercury have bounced back in impressive fashion. The Mercury won their fourth-straight game on Saturday, completing a back-to-back road sweep with the win over the Chicago Sky coming less than 24 hours after beating the Atlanta Dream. Saturday's 86-78 win followed a new pattern for the Mercury during this winning streak that included above average defense and domination on the glass.
During the four-game stretch, the Mercury are plus-20 in total rebounding differential against the Indiana Fever, San Antonio Silver Stars, Atlanta Dream and Chicago Sky. They held those opponents to a combined .391 shooting percentage while connecting on over 47 percent of their own attempts.
The high efficiency offense is the result of great ball movement (22.5 assists per game) and inside scoring with an average of 43.5 points scored in the paint. Three-point shooting, once a requirement for good Mercury offense, has not been that good (30 percent) but hasn't been missed with a more inside-oriented offense.
Saturday's star was once again Penny Taylor. Taylor put up 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists which continued her trend of great all-around performances.
The Mercury won their last two games without starting point guard Temeka Johnson who sprained her ankle during Tuesday's win over the Silver Stars. The road trip continues with a final game in Indiana on Tuesday. The next home game is Friday, July 1st against the Chicago Sky.