PHOENIX MERCURY

Mercury without Skylar Diggins-Smith, Diana Taurasi in playoff opener vs. Aces

Aug 17, 2022, 8:30 AM
Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury attempts a shot against the Minnesota Lynx during th...
Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury attempts a shot against the Minnesota Lynx during the second half of the WNBA game at Footprint Center on June 21, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lynx defeated the Mercury 84-71. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The No. 8 seed Phoenix Mercury will open the 2022 WNBA Playoffs against the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces on the road Wednesday without their two best players.

Skylar Diggins-Smith (personal reasons) and Diana Taurasi (quadriceps) were ruled out on the official injury report released Tuesday night, joining Kia Nurse (ACL recovery) on the list of players expected to be out.

None of that is surprising considering the circumstances, though head coach Vanessa Nygaard after the regular season finale on Sunday left the door open for the possibility those players could return at some point in the postseason.

Forward Kaela Davis, who scored 11 points Sunday, is additionally questionable for Game 1 against the Aces with a right ankle injury.

Tip in Las Vegas is set for 7 p.m. and it will air on ESPN.

The rotation for Phoenix should look similar to what the team ran out in its final four regular season games, which Diggins-Smith missed. Taurasi was out the final five games.

Diggins-Smith (19.7 points per game) and Taurasi (16.7) were the top two scorers for the Mercury after center Tina Charles (17.3) was released midseason.

The Mercury went 2-2 without Diggins-Smith and Taurasi in the final stretch of the regular season, with Diamond DeShields leading the team in scoring for two games. Sophie Cunningham did so once and reserve center Megan Gustafson led the team with 12 off the bench in the regular season finale.

Phoenix started DeShields, Cunningham, forward Brianna Turner, plus Jennie Simms and Shey Peddy in the outings with Diggins-Smith and Taurasi out.

Gustafson, Reshanda Gray, rookie Sam Thomas and hardship signings Davis and Yvonne Turner have played reserve minutes off the bench.

The Mercury (15-21) went 0-3 with three double-digit losses against Las Vegas in the regular season but had all those matchups early on in the year. They have not squared off since May 21.

Las Vegas (26-10) will also host Game 2 of the first-round series on Saturday. A potential Game 3 will be played in Phoenix on Tuesday if the Mercury wins one of the first two games.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Mercury

United States's Breanna Stewart looks for support during the 2022 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup...
Associated Press

USA women adjusting in World Cup without Brittney Griner

Without Brittney Griner's 6-foot-8 presence, the U.S. women needed to figure out how to overcome her absence. So far, so good.
4 days ago
Phoenix Mercury's Candice Dupree, right, drives around Minnesota Lynx's Rebekkah Brunson in the fir...
Jordan Leandre

Report: Spurs hire former Mercury F Candice Dupree to coaching staff

Former Phoenix Mercury All-Star Candice Dupree will reportedly join Gregg Popovich's coaching staff with the San Antonio Spurs.
10 days ago
"We Are BG 42" is displayed on the exterior of Footprint Center before the WNBA game between the Ph...
Associated Press

President Biden meets with families of Griner, Whelan at White House

President Joe Biden met with family members of Brittney Griner, the first face-to-face encounter the president has had with the relatives.
17 days ago
Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury during the second half of the WNBA game at Footprint...
Arizona Sports

Phoenix Mercury G Skylar Diggins-Smith named 1st Team All-WNBA

Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith was named to First Team All-WNBA on Thursday.
18 days ago
A person holds up a sign reminding fans of Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner during the first half ...
Associated Press

President Biden to meet with families of Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan

President Joe Biden plans to meet at the White House with family of WNBA star Brittney Griner and corporate security executive Paul Whelan.
18 days ago
Phoenix Mercury guard Diamond DeShields (1) grabs a rebound against the Las Vegas Aces during the f...
Associated Press

Diamond DeShields chronicles USA Basketball prep for FIBA World Cup

Phoenix Mercury wing Diamond DeShields is writing for The Associated Press as Team USA preps for the FIBA World Cup in Australia.
20 days ago
Mercury without Skylar Diggins-Smith, Diana Taurasi in playoff opener vs. Aces