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Recap: Griner, Bonner lead Mercury late to 95-77 win over Fever

Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner scored 22 points each and dominated the fourth quarter in a game that was closer than the final score indicated.

Indiana Fever v Phoenix Mercury
Brittney Griner scored 22 points in the Mercury’s 95-77 win over the Fever on Tuesday, July 23.
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

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.

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.

Up next

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.