Taurasi, Diggins-Smith, Peddy out for Mercury’s win-or-go-home matchup
There will not be any major reinforcements arriving for the Phoenix Mercury when they fight to keep their playoff hopes alive against the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces on Saturday.
Guards Skylar Diggins-Smith (personal reasons) and Diana Taurasi (right quad) remain out, as do Brittney Griner (not with team) and Kia Nurse (right ACL). In addition, guard Shey Peddy, who left Wednesday’s Game 1 loss with a right leg injury, has a ruptured right Achilles tendon and is also ruled out.
One player that should be back, though, is forward Kaela Davis. She missed Game 1 due to a right ankle injury but is not on the injury report for Game 2. Davis has been a situational player for Phoenix since being signed in late July but logged 12 minutes in the last game of the regular season.
Diggins-Smith hasn’t played since Aug. 4 while Taurasi’s last appearance was two days prior. Head coach Vanessa Nygaard after the regular season finale left the door open for the possibility those players could return at some point in the postseason.
Despite being very shorthanded, the Mercury hung around in Game 1 against the betting favorite to win the WNBA championship, staying within two points in the fourth quarter before the Aces created some real separation en route to a 79-63 victory.
The best-of-three format means the Mercury must win Saturday’s Game 2 in Vegas in order to force a Game 3 that would take place in Phoenix on Tuesday if necessary.