It was not sweet music by the Mercury at home verse the Seattle Storm as the clangs on the rim were countered by the ripping of the net for their Western Conference rival opponent.
It was especially tough early as it seems shooting the deep ball is solo act for the Storm. In the meeting earlier this week it was Sue Bird with her familiar tune casually floating around and picking her spots for 31 points on near perfection.
Bird was a different kind of great today as she was the leader of the symphony pulling the strings (9 assists) and directing her teammates like a masterful conductor. This time around Katie Smith took on the solo role as she filled it up with 14 first quarter points (5-5 shooting) and some dazzling notes.
The Mercury however were not interested in smooth orchestra, rather they showed their toughness with heavy metal relentlessness fighting off the Storm with half-court defense. That was evident at the half as the Mercury erased a double digit deficit to trail only 41-37 at the half.
In the first half 21/41 points for the Storm came via the long ball, which was countered by the Mercury attack as 25/37 points came via the foul line or inside the arc. At the half the Mercury got themselves into the game with that style.
For all their effort any noise the Mercury thought about making in the second half was quickly muted with a 26-6 third quarter collapse. It was the 2012 Mercury Patented "collapse quarter" where they could neither score nor stop the other team.
Rookie Samantha Prahalis (7 points 3 assists) may be the toughest of the Mercury as she overcame a very bad looking ankle sprain in the second quarter to return in the second half with effectiveness.
"It is just sore," said Prahalis after the game. "I will be alright when we come back (after the Olympic Break)." On her first 19 games as a WNBA player? "It was alright. I can make a lot of improvements, but it was decent. I just need to get used to all the travel and keep my body healthy."
The smooth orchestra played by the Storm (9-10) was enough to top the Mercury (4-15) for the second time this week 83-64.
Again, DeWanna Bonner (18 points) led the way in points as she has in 15 of the teams 19 games this season. She struggled from the field shooting through double teams and over the defense consistently.
Head Coach Corey Gaines had one word to describe the first half of the season, "tough, it has been really tough."
The team heads into the Olympic Break with the second worst record in the WNBA as they have struggled mightily without their two All-Stars. They now have a tough decision to make, but in the back of their mind the answer has to be obvious. Do you sit Diana Taurasi during the second half of the season to go for the Top Pick in the draft, presumably Brittney Griner?
Only time will tell how they answer that question as the team will enjoy one month out of action before the face of against, yes, you guessed it the Seattle Storm on August 16th.