Diana Taurasi leads the way in Mercury win over Aces
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Diana Taurasi had 22 points and 10 assists, Skylar Diggins-Smith also scored 22 points, and the Phoenix Mercury never trailed in a 102-95 win over the Las Vegas Aces on Friday night.
Brittney Griner had 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals, Bria Hartley scored 15 points and Sophie Cunningham 11 for Phoenix (1-2).
Angel McCoughtry scored 18 points and A’ja Wilson had 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals for Las Vegas (1-2).
Phoenix led by 23 points midway through the second quarter, but the Aces closed the half with a 14-2 run to make it 50-41 and then held the Mercury scoreless for four-plus minutes during a 9-0 spurt that made it 56-all when McCoughtry hit a jumper with 5:33 left in the third quarter.
Brianna Turner answered with a layup and Cunningham had a steal and a layup to spark a 14-2 run that gave Phoenix the lead for good and made it 70-58 when Taurasi hit a 3-pointer about four minutes later.
Taurasi and Diggins-Smith each hit four of the Mercury’s 11 3-pointers. Phoenix had 30 assists on 38 field goals, shot 57% overall and 55% from behind the arc.
Las Vegas guard Lindsay Allen was ruled out of the game after she had an inconclusive positive test for COVID-19. According to the Aces, the safety procedures outlined by the WNBA and the players’ union require an inconclusive positive to be treated as a positive until the person has two negative tests in a row 24 hours apart. She is currently isolating away from the bubble at IMG Academy.