The Phoenix Mercury (10-8) defeated the Indiana Fever (6-15) 95-77 on Tuesday evening in both teams’ final games before the 2019 WNBA All-Star break. Though the game was a blowout when Phoenix turned up the heat on offense, it was truly closer than the final score indicated.
The Fever were behind 71-69 with just 7:48 left in the game after Teaira McCowan made a pair of free throws. Phoenix went on a 25-8 run for the remainder of the game to put Indiana away. However, they didn’t lead by double digits until 2:35 left in the game.
In the final period, the Mercury shot 66.7 percent from the field and assisted on all ten of their made field goals. DeWanna Bonner scored 9 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter to help Phoenix get control of the game.
Brittney Griner scored 8 of her 22 points in that period on 4-of-5 shooting. Before that point, Griner shot just 5-of-14 and was having more of an off night.
WE'VE GOT CLIPS!— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) July 24, 2019
AND MORE BG HIGHLIGHTS FOR YOU! pic.twitter.com/05ZrRwOnD8
Bonner and Griner weren’t the only ones who had strong performances in the fourth. Leilani Mitchell scored 8 of her 14 points and dished 4 of her 6 assists then as well.
Phoenix didn’t win just because of their super-efficient offense, especially late. They also forced Indiana to commit six turnovers and converted them to nine points. The Mercury only committed two turnovers themselves.
The Fever kept the game interesting until late in the fourth quarter. In fact, they were leading by as many as six points early in the third quarter.
Indiana’s starting backcourt of Erica Wheeler and Tiffany Mitchell were fantastic. The pair scored 18 and 15 points, respectively, while shooting over 60 percent from the field. They also shot a combined 6-of-7 from the three-point line to keep the Mercury on their toes.
Still, Phoenix had the last laugh with the three-point shot, converting 12 of 21.
Can our whole squad just join the All-Star 3-point contest? pic.twitter.com/jl7Kuo5Iww— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) July 24, 2019
The Mercury are off until Tuesday, July 30, when they play the Washington Mystics on the road. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET. The Fever’s next game is Wednesday, July 31, when they host the Atlanta Dream. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.