Mercury lose rebounding battle, fall to Mystics
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kristi Toliver had 20 points, including four in the final 14 seconds, and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored a season-high 17 to help the short-handed Washington Mystics beat the Phoenix Mercury 85-80 on Sunday.
Emma Meesseman added 15 points, Tianna Hawkins scored 10 and Krystal Thomas had 16 rebounds for Washington (15-10). The Mystics were without Tayler Hill, Natasha Cloud and Elena Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA MVP who averages a team-high 18.8 points per game.
Toliver sandwiched a short fade-away jumper and a 3-pointer around two free throws and a 3-point play by Ruffin-Pratt during a 10-4 run that gave Washington a 77-72 lead with 4:20 and Phoenix (13-12) trailed the rest of the way.
Diana Taurasi converted a three-point play and, after a jumper by Meesseman, Yvonne Turner hit a 3 to pull the Mercury within one, but they committed turnovers on each of their next three possessions before Toliver hit a long jumper and two free throws to cap the scoring.
Taurasi led Phoenix with 16 points, Turner scored 15 and Angel Robinson and Monique Currie added 14 apiece. It was a career best for Robinson.
The Mercury have lost six of their last eight, including two in a row. Phoenix is still missing Brittney Griner, who has injured knee and ankle.
Without Griner, the Mystics outrebounded Phoenix 42-26, including 13-4 on the offensive glass.