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Recap: Dallas’ big three, late 14-0 run propel Wings to victory

Satou Sabally, Natasha Howard and Arike Ogunbowale each put up a stellar stat line and the Dallas Wings pulled away from the Phoenix Mercury late.

Dallas Wings v Phoenix Mercury
Satou Sabally
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Sometimes your stars do all the work.

Satou Sabally, Natasha Howard and Arike Ogunbowale were all phenomenal for the Dallas Wings Tuesday night, as the Wings defeated the banged-up Phoenix Mercury 77-62 at Footprint Center in Phoenix.

Sabally had 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to bounce back from season lows in points (eight) and boards (three) on Sunday. Howard added 19 points, 10 rebounds and four helpers while Ogunbowale was good for a game-high 23 points to go along with three assists and four steals. Dallas improved to 7-8.

The Mercury (2-11) were without Sophie Cunningham (back) while stars Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi were supposed to be on 20- to 25-minute restrictions because of their recent injuries. Griner ended up playing 28:47 with 20 points, five boards, three helpers and two blocks. Taurasi played 26:31 with just six points.

This game was Nikki Blue’s first as a WNBA head coach. She took over in Phoenix after the firing of Vanessa Nygaard.

A 12-0 run early in the first made it 12-2 Wings, but was not nearly enough to discourage the Mercury, who fought back and kept it close nearly the entire game. But a 14-0 Dallas run from 7:10 remaining to 2:20 remaining made it 77-60 Wings and did Phoenix in.

Ogunbowale orchestrated most of the close-out with a floater that made it 67-60, a mid-range fade that rolled around and in to make it 69-60 and a mean crossover-turned-driving-layup that made it 72-60.

Dallas entered the fourth up five and couldn’t manage to build a lead greater than five in the first 2:59 of the final frame. The Mercury kept cutting it to three or two; they cut it to two on a Michaela Onyenwere right-corner three at 9:13 remaining.

Dallas went up six by scoring first in the third before Phoenix cut it back to two. A 5-0 Wings run from there opened up breathing room for the visiting team again. Ogunbowale rattled in a deep three and then Teaira McCowan finished a layup in transition to make it 43-36 Dallas.

Two Onyenwere free throws followed by a Sug Sutton reverse layup comprised a 4-0 Mercury run that cut it to 47-44 at the 3:46 mark of the third. The Wings pushed their lead back to seven and then Griner scored inside to cut it back to three at 51-48. An Onyenwere left-corner three cut it to two with 11 seconds remaining in the third, but Howard stole momentum back for Dallas entering the fourth with a triple eight seconds later.

The Mercury opened the second on a 13-4 run to cut their deficit to 28-26. A Taurasi step-back three from the left wing cut it to 26-23 before a Jennie Simms 3-point play capped the run. Phoenix would later tie it at 32 with a 4-0 run. Griner passed it to Brianna Turner for an alley-oop layup and a Moriah Jefferson shot from the lane just barely rolled in to tie it.

Dallas closed the first on a 9-2 run to lead 24-13 entering the second. Ogunbowale made a driving layup out of a timeout to kick off the run. Howard then made an awkward one-handed shot from mid-range while getting fouled and converted on the 3-point play to make it 20-11. Ogunbowale closed the opening frame’s scoring with a deep two.

Griner worked her way up to six points with a 4-0 individual run that cut the Mercury’s deficit to 15-9. Turner made it a 6-0 Phoenix run and cut it to 15-11 with 3:27 remaining in the first.

Dallas won rebounds 37-25 and points in the paint 40-26. Phoenix was just 3-of-20 from distance.