Griner: Olympic break helped ‘rejuvenate’ Mercury ahead of winning streak

Sep 3, 2021, 3:33 PM
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during the first half of the WNBA game at the Footprint ...
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during the first half of the WNBA game at the Footprint Center on August 31, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Mercury haven’t lost a game since the WNBA returned to action from the Olympic break, and center Brittney Griner believes the current seven-game winning streak has a lot do with that time off.

“Honestly, I don’t know exactly what it was, maybe it was just the break,” Griner told media on Friday about the Mercury’s recent success.

The Mercury have been firing on all cylinders since the return, going 7-0 and scoring an average of 89.4 points per game. Since back from the break, Phoenix has seen a player win Western Conference Player of the Week in consecutive weeks, with Skylar Diggins-Smith earning the honor on Monday and Griner the previous week.

Phoenix even picked up a win without Griner due to an ankle injury, beating the New York Liberty 80-64 on Aug. 27.

“There were so many people that probably counted us out … I was very happy, very proud of my team and my teammates,” Griner said.

When asked about how everything seems to be clicking for the Mercury, the star center circled back to the Olympic break.

“We just needed to forget everything, the pressures, just rest … once we got back, we just merged right to it,” Griner said. “I feel like the break brought our team chemistry together more once we came back. Like you see it on the court, we’re just there.

“On defense, we’re there for each other … all the things that get you hooked in the game, we’re doing all those little things and I think that’s what the difference is. We’re just having a lot of fun and we’re all together having that fun and enjoying it.”

The Mercury play the Indiana Fever on Saturday at 10 a.m. MST.

Phoenix Mercury

Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury fall to Los Angeles Sparks for 4th straight loss

The Phoenix Mercury fell to the Sparks in Los Angeles 99-95 on Wednesday night for their fourth consecutive loss.
2 days ago
Screenshot of Cherelle, Brittney Griner's wife, in an interview on Good Morning America....
Associated Press

Brittney Griner’s wife asks Joe Biden to secure BG’s release from Russia

The wife of Brittney Griner, Cherelle, wants President Joe Biden to secure the Mercury center's release from a Russian prison.
2 days ago
Las Vegas Aces guard Chelsea Gray (12) drives around Phoenix Mercury center Megan Gustafson (10) du...
Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury lose third game in a row against Las Vegas Aces

The Phoenix Mercury lost their third game in a row and second without Skylar Diggins-Smith as the Las Vegas Aces defended their home floor.
6 days ago
(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)...
Associated Press

Diana Taurasi scores 31 as Mercury fall to Wings

Arike Ogunbowale scored a season-high 37 points, Marina Mabrey added 13 points and a career-best 10 assists for the Wings.
8 days ago
A young Phoenix Mercury fan holds up a sign "Free Brittney Griner" during a WNBA basketball game ag...
Associated Press

State Dept pushing to see Brittney Griner; NBA Commissioner weighs in

The State Department is still pushing to have regular contact with Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia for nearly three months.
9 days ago
New Phoenix Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard wears a "BG" pin as she talks with Sophie Cunningham...
Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury let 1st half lead slip in loss to Las Vegas Aces

The Mercury led by as many as 12 points in the first half but Las Vegas' 21-7 run led to a four-point lead and the Aces never again trailed.
10 days ago
Griner: Olympic break helped ‘rejuvenate’ Mercury ahead of winning streak