PHOENIX — DeWanna Bonner scored 21 points and the defending WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury held on to beat the San Antonio Stars 76-71 in the season opener Friday night.
Candice Dupree had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Monique Currie added 12 points for Phoenix, playing without Diana Taurasi and the suspended Brittany Griner. Before the game, eight members of the Mercury’s title team received their rings and the championship banner was raised to the US Airways Center rafters.
Taurasi is taking the season off to rest, while Griner served the first game of a seven-game suspension for a domestic violence incident.
Griner filed for an annulment with Glory Johnson-Griner on Friday, a day after Johnson-Griner announced she’s pregnant and a month after the two WNBA players were married. Griner married Johnson-Griner on May 9, three weeks after they were arrested in Arizona on domestic violence charges for a fight at their home in suburban Phoenix.
San Antonio pulled to 72-71 with 1:06 left on Jia Perkins’ 14-footer, but the Stars failed to score in the final minute. Bonner and Dupree each hit a pair of free throws to wrap up the victory.
With San Antonio trailing by three points, the Stars’ Jia Perkins missed a short put-back jumper off a 3-point miss by Kayla McBride and missed a 3 of her own in the final seconds.
Perkins led the Stars with 20 points. Danielle Adams had 14, and Dearica Hamby added 10.