Phoenix Mercury’s season ends in Las Vegas after playoff loss to Aces

Aug 20, 2022, 8:06 PM | Updated: Aug 21, 2022, 7:31 pm
Phoenix Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard watches during the second half in Game 1 of a WNBA baske...

Phoenix Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard watches during the second half in Game 1 of a WNBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Las Vegas Aces, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

(AP Photo/John Locher)

The Phoenix Mercury’s 2022 season came to an end on Saturday night with a 117-80 loss to the Las Vegas Aces in Game 2 of the first-round series.

After battling their way into the postseason as the No. 8 seed, the Mercury fell in back-to-back road games in Las Vegas as the Aces completed the series sweep.

It must be stated, however, that Phoenix was a heavy underdog coming into Game 2 with the likes of guards Skylar Diggins-Smith (personal reasons), Diana Taurasi (right quad) and Shey Peddy (right Achilles tendon) all ruled out prior to tip-off.

Not to mention the absence of center Brittney Griner for the entirety of the season due to her imprisonment in Russia after being arrested in February for bringing cannabis oil vape cartridges into the airport, which weighed heavily on the team all year.

Forward Kaela Davis led the way for the Mercury with 23 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal in 30 minutes played off the bench.

Phoenix guard Diamond DeShields also added 21 points, two assists, two steals and one board in 22 minutes. No other Mercury player was in double figures.

Compare that to the Aces, who had all but one starter reach the 10-plus points mark, with guards Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum leading the way with 27 and 22 points, respectively. Gray also had a game-high eight assists.

Scottsdale native and Phoenix head coach Vanessa Nygaard finished her first season at the helm with a 15-21 regular-season record.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Mercury

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.
4 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.
11 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.
12 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.
12 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.
14 days ago
Phoenix Mercury’s season ends in Las Vegas after playoff loss to Aces