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Bonner Shocks Tulsa with buzzer-beating 3-pointer in OT

DeWanna Bonner's clutch three-pointer at the buzzer leads the Phoenix Mercury past the Tulsa Shock in overtime.

In Phoenix's last game, DeWanna Bonner finished 0-for-9 from the floor and with just four points.

Tuesday she ended the night with 25 points, none as important as the game-winning contested 3-pointer she sank as time expired in the overtime period.

"Well Candice (Dupree) was actually the first option but I didn't realize the in-bounds being so high—and DB (Bonner) was the second," Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello said. "I actually told her (Bonner) to drive but she makes those plays, and that's something that she does and I'm happy that she did so we didn't have to go into a second overtime."

With Bonner's game winner, Phoenix (13-7) defeated a resilient Tulsa (10-11) team 87-84.

Tulsa led the whole way, building up a 13-point lead in the third quarter. Bonner had 14 of her points in the first quarter, but it took Brittney Griner finally getting in rhythm to power the Mercury back.

Griner finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. Candice Dupree added 24 points.

Griner's huge putback off a missed Mercury free throw evened the game at 68 with 4:25 remaining in regulation. Phoenix was unable to pull ahead until the 1:19 mark on a Bonner driving layup, giving the team it's first lead since the opening possession, 2-0.

"Basketball is a game of runs and they made their runs. I thought we still put ourselves in a good position to win the game, but it just didn't work out for us," Paris said. "I thought we fought hard and went back and forth. It just came down to DeWanna making that big shot."

Tulsa's Odyssey Sims hit an 8-foot jumper from the right side to tie the game at 76 and send it into overtime.

It would later be that same exact shot by Sims that would put the Mercury comeback in jeopardy, this time in the overtime period with just 49 seconds remaining.

A few plays later, Courtney Paris leveled Griner, who tweaked her left knee in the second quarter and came out of halftime wearing a brace, sending Paris to the line.

Paris went 1-for-2, evening the game at 84 with 25 seconds left. Phoenix held the ball until the 11-second mark, but couldn't get into an offense, calling a timeout.

The Mercury set up an inbounds play with just 5.2 seconds remaining, struggling again to get anything set up. Then the ball found its way to Bonner's hands.

Bonner got the ball, headed left and crossed over Karima Christmas to create space and let fly the game-winning three as the clock expired.

"That was great defense—she was actually right there in my face. I just wanted to get a shot up," Bonner said. "Thank goodness it went in so we didn't have to go into double overtime because I was tired. But it was a great game."

The win came as heartbreak for the Shock, who never trailed by more than two. Tulsa entered the matchup shooting 33.8 percent from the field in its last five games. By the third quarter, the Shock was outshooting Phoenix 41.2 percent to 36 percent.

"I thought it was a good game between two good teams. Phoenix is showing a lot of energy and drive lately- my team also, we came out with a lot of fire," Shock head coach Fred Williams said. "We had a lot of opportunities toward the end and we kind of put it away some. I think both teams made some good shots. I think the last shot tells it all when Bonner hit the jump shot."

All of the Tulsa starters finished in the double-digits in scoring led by Christmas and Riquna Williams with 17 each. Courtney Paris finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds.

"I think earlier in the season we would've lost those games," Brondello said. "It's a long season and it's kind of normal—fatigue sets in, especially when we have three players that play a lot of minutes, but it's no excuse, so we have to make sure to bring appropriate energy and if the starters aren't, the bench are.

"I just didn't think we were consistent for 40 minutes tonight but like I said, the good thing is we have been able to come back from being down by 12—Atlanta, we were up by 18 but teams can still come back," she added. "That's just how talented this league is. But we keep grinding out wins—sometimes that's what it's about."