PHOENIX MERCURY

Mercury’s Kia Nurse ruled out for rest of WNBA playoffs with torn ACL

Oct 8, 2021, 11:47 AM | Updated: 11:56 am

The Phoenix Mercury announced Friday that they will be without guard Kia Nurse for the rest of the team’s playoff run after she suffered a torn ACL.

The team moves on with a win-or-go-home Game 5 against the Las Vegas Aces on Friday in the WNBA semifinals.

Nurse went down in the first few possessions of Game 4 on Wednesday.

There’s also guard Sophie Cunningham. She did not play in Game 4 and is questionable again because of a left calf strain.

Without Nurse and Cunningham, the Mercury were missing two of their toughest defenders, and it showed. Aces guards Chelsea Gray (22 points), Kelsey Plum (20) and Riquna Williams (17) combined for 59 points in the Aces’ Game 4 win that tied the series at 2-2.

Head coach Sandy Brondello had to go to different names in her rotation, including forward Megan Walker, who had only played in garbage time for any other playoff minutes before clocking 14 on Thursday. Ditto for guard Bria Hartley playing 21 minutes after a total of 14 in Phoenix’s other five playoff games.

The winner of Game 5 between the Mercury and the Aces will take on the Chicago Sky in the WNBA Finals. Friday’s game tips off at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

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