Brittney Griner’s return not enough for Mercury in loss to Storm

Aug 6, 2023, 8:33 AM

Phoenix Mercury...

Diana Taurasi #3 (L) talks with Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury (R) before the first half against the Phoenix Mercury at Barclays Center on June 18, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

PHOENIX (AP) — Jewell Loyd scored 17 of her 32 points in the fourth quarter and Sami Whitcomb hit a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to lift the Seattle Storm to a 97-91 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday night.

Brittney Griner had 22 points for the Mercury after sitting out the previous three games for a mental health break. Diana Taurasi had 28 points after she scored 42 on Thursday night and surpassed 10,000 in her legendary career, but it wasn’t enough against the last-place Storm.

Phoenix guard Shey Peddy was hit in the head by an elbow before halftime, removed from the court on a stretcher and taken to a hospital. The Mercury said she had movement in her limbs.

Seattle is now 7-20 this season with three wins coming over the Mercury. Unlike the first two matchups, won by an average of 18.5 points, this game had seven ties and 12 lead changes. Loyd had six points in an 8-0 run that put Seattle up 87-81 with 3:18 to play.

A Griner three-point play made it 89-87 with 2:31 to go, but Loyd banked in 3-pointer at 1:03. Taurasi scored on a drive but Whitcomb beat the shot clock with a 3 for a 95-89 lead.

Ezi Magbegor had 19 points for Seattle and Whitcomb and Gabby Williams added 14. Loyd had three 3-pointers, giving her 85 on the season, two more than the team record she established last season. Loyd went 13 of 14 from the foul line, while the Mercury were 13 of 15.

Sophia Cunningham and Megan Gustafson both had 13 points, all in the first half, while Taurasi had 12.

The Storm were within 43-41 with just over two minutes to go when Jordan Horston hit Peddy for a flagrant 1 foul. Cunningham made the two free throws in her place. On the ensuing possession, Moriah Jefferson hit a short jumper and the Mercury led 50-41.

Phoenix, which only had three turnovers in the first half, had seven in the third quarter and Seattle used a 14-4 run to surge ahead 68-61. Magbegor had 11 points in the quarter for the Storm. However, the Mercury scored four points in the last six seconds to close within 68-65 entering the fourth quarter.

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