Brittney Griner throws down 3rd dunk of season in Mercury win over Liberty

Aug 25, 2021, 9:23 PM | Updated: 9:25 pm
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury drives to the basket as Natasha Howard #6 of the New Yor...
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury drives to the basket as Natasha Howard #6 of the New York Liberty defends during the second half at Barclays Center on August 25, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Mercury won 106-79. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 27 points, Brittney Griner added 26, including her third dunk of the season, and Phoenix beat the New York Liberty 106-79 on Wednesday night for the Mercury’s fifth straight victory.

Griner also had nine rebounds and six assists before getting helped off the court with 1:38 left in the fourth with a left ankle injury.

Diana Taurasi added 21 points with five 3-pointers for Phoenix (14-10), which made 12 of 25 from distance. Brianna Turner had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Griner dunked for the 15th time in her regular-season career — and the rest of the WNBA has combined for just three in 25 seasons.

The Mercury dominated the first quarter, building a 35-19 lead behind 12 points from Diggins-Smith and 70.9% shooting. Phoenix led 55-42 at the break with 40 combined points from Diggins-Smith, Griner and Taurasi.

Taurasi and Diggins-Smith each made a 3-pointer on consecutive Phoenix possessions to extend the lead to 71-49 early in the third. New York cut its deficit to 10 points in the fourth, but the Mercury closed on a 17-0 run. It was the first time this season that the Mercury had scored 100 or more in a game.

Betnijah Laney led New York (11-15) with 20 points. Rookie DiDi Richards scored a season-high 14 and Sabrina Ionescu added 10 points and seven assists. The Liberty made three 3-pointers in the first quarter to set a franchise record for makes in a season.

New York was missing Sami Whitcomb, the league’s leading 3-point shooter, who is out for two weeks due to an ankle injury.


Phoenix and New York will go at it again on Friday, with tip-off set for 5 p.m.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Mercury

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner, stands listening to a verdict in a co...
Associated Press

US emissary hopeful for release of Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan

The conclusion of the criminal case against Brittney Griner last week provides an opening for diplomatic negotiations to begin in earnest.
1 day ago
Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi reacts after throwing the ball out of bounds during the team's ...
Arizona Sports

Diana Taurasi out for season, Phoenix Mercury ink Yvonne Turner

The Mercury announced that Diana Taurasi will miss the rest of the season with a quad strain. The team inked Yvonne Turner.
2 days ago
(Twitter Photo/Phoenix Mercury)...
Associated Press

Mercury beat Liberty despite Ionescu’s milestone night

The Phoenix Mercury cruised past the New York Liberty 76-62 on Saturday night, despite missing guards Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith.
4 days ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at the Stat...
Associated Press

Russians again warn Brittney Griner prisoner exchange talks must be private

Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken didn’t try to contact him while attending the same meeting.
5 days ago
Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury during the WNBA game at Footprint Center on July 07,...
Arizona Sports

Diggins-Smith asks how Mercury were supposed to play after Griner trial

Skylar Diggins-Smith asked how the Mercury were supposed to focus on Thursday's game against the Sun hours after Brittney Griner's trial.
6 days ago
Players with the Connecticut Sun and Phoenix Mercury link arms for 42 seconds in honor of Phoenix M...
Associated Press

Mercury honor Griner with 42 seconds of silence before game vs. Sun

Before the Mercury faced the Sun, players from both teams met at midcourt and bowed their heads for 42 seconds to honor Brittney Griner.
6 days ago
Brittney Griner throws down 3rd dunk of season in Mercury win over Liberty