PHOENIX MERCURY

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.

UP NEXT

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

Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner (42) shoots against Chicago Sky's Azura Stevens (30) during the f...
Nicholas Hodell

Mercury taking resiliency and poise away from WNBA Finals run

The Phoenix Mercury is taking away positive lessons and motivations from a disappointing end to its season in the 2021 WNBA Finals.
3 days ago
Phoenix Mercury's Sklar Diggins-Smith, left, Brittney Griner, center, and Bria Hartley right, react...
Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury fall short of WNBA title in loss to Chicago Sky

Allie Quigley scored 26 points and Parker added 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists and Chicago beat the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 in Game 4.
5 days ago
Phoenix Mercury's Sophie Cunningham (9) reacts after fouling Chicago Sky's Allie Quigley during the...
Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury fall to Chicago Sky in Game 3, face elimination on Sunday

The Phoenix Mercury dropped Game 3 by a staggering 36 points and now face elimination on Sunday in Chicago.
7 days ago
Brittney Griner #42 and Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury celebrate after defeating th...
Arizona Sports

Mercury’s Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins-Smith make First Team All-WNBA

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner and guard Skylar Diggins-Smith respectively made their sixth and fifth All-WNBA teams.
7 days ago
Photo courtesy: Phoenix Suns...
Nicholas Hodell

Footprint Center formally dedicated before NBA/WNBA doubleheader

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the Footprint Center on Wednesday to dedicate and formally open the doors to the transformed arena.
8 days ago
(Photo courtesy Phoenix Suns)...
Character Counts

Devin Booker surprises Girl Scouts with $100K grant at Mercury game

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker used the Phoenix Mercury's WNBA Finals Game 2 to surprise Girl Scouts with a $100,000 donation.
8 days ago
Brittney Griner throws down 3rd dunk of season in Mercury win over Liberty