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On The Road The Mercury Lose To The Winless Shock

The Phoenix Mercury hosted the league’s best team, the undefeated Lynx on Friday night and traveled to the other side of the spectrum to face the winless Tulsa Shock. On the season the Mercury have faced the Shock twice beating them in two thrilling games.

For the Mercury, the Shock have been the team that they could rely on for an uplifting win during down times.

In this Father’s Day match-up the Shock were not looking to be uplifting. They came out strong playing the Mercury point-for-point through three quarters. In a dominant second quarter the Mercury outscored the Shock 20-10 to take a small half-time lead.

On the Mercury’s 23 turnover of the game late in the fourth quarter the Shock capitalized on the miscue with a backbreaking three by Tameka Johnson. That shot gave them a nine point lead with just over three minutes to play.

Samantha Prahalis gave a valiant effort in the final two minutes as she hit a couple of quick, easy buckets making it a game towards the end.

It was a too little too late however as the Shock (1-9) are no longer winless beating the Mercury (2-7). The final score, 87-75.

Coach Gaines after the game, “They had pressure defense the whole game. We missed shots and they made shots. I think we opened up 8-0 on fouls in the third quarter. They were in the penalty instantly. They shot a lot of free throws, something like 40-18. That helps them.”

The Mercury have been playing solid defense as of late holding teams to low shooting percentages and out-rebounding their opponents. The stats don’t lie, the Mercury are playing better defensively, but the numbers are deceiving.

For the improved effort on defense in the half court it is effecting the offense leading to way to many turnovers. Against the Shock the Mercury had 25 turnovers leading to 23 easy points in transition. Holding the Shock to 39% shooting and out-rebounding them by 10 is good on paper, but the turnovers killed them.

DeWanna Bonner (24 points 9 rebounds), Prahalis (10 points 5 rebounds 6 assists), and Charde Houston (22 points) did as much as they could on offense to keep the team in the game. More telling were the 11 turnovers the trio combined to commit.

The last two games have been telling for the Mercury. It seems the players know this is not a playoff team and they are going through the motions. They may just be in a funk, but if they don’t get out of it soon they will find themselves looking up at 11 other teams at the end of the season.

Brittney Griner Watch

Team

Wins

Loses

Games Back

Tulsa Shock

1

9

0

Seattle Storm

2

7

1.5

Phoenix Mercury

2

7

1.5

Washington Mystics

2

5

2

New York Liberty

3

7

2