Double-doubles by Diana Taurasi, Candice Dupree fuel Mercury
TULSA, Okla. -- Diana Taurasi had 28 points and 10 assists, Candice Dupree added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Phoenix Mercury held off the Tulsa Shock, 89-86, on Tuesday night.
Brittney Griner had 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks as the Mercury (14-12) beat the Shock for the third time in 11 days. Taurasi had 16 points and seven assists in the second half, and Dupree scored 14.
Riquna Williams scored 23 points, Liz Cambage had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Tiffany Jackson-Jones added 13 points for Tulsa (8-18).
After the Shock trimmed Phoenix's 13-point lead to three with about 16 seconds to go, Taurasi made four free throws 5.5 seconds apart to seal the Mercury's win.
"She does things so quietly then you look at the stat sheet and see that she has 28 points," Phoenix interim coach Russ Pennell said. "Male or female, I have never been around a competitor like her. Diana is fiery but she is all about the team. She is just a phenomenal player."
Trailing 32-29 at halftime, Phoenix outscored Tulsa 27-15 in the third quarter to take a nine-point lead. Taurasi had eight points in the period, Bonner scored seven and Dupree six as the Mercury shot 58 percent (11 for 19).
"We tried to identify at halftime what we needed to do in the second half," Pennell said. "I didn't think that we did a good job on defense in the first half but we got out and defended them much better in the third quarter."
Tulsa pulled to 66-62 early in the fourth, but Phoenix scored the next nine points -- including six straight by Dupree -- to stretch the lead to 13 with 5:05 to play.
Tulsa got a 3-pointer from Candice Wiggins and a three-point play from Skylar Diggins to pull to 84-81 with 16 seconds remaining. Taurasi then sealed the win at the line.
Williams made a 3 with 3.3 seconds left to pull the Shock to 88-86, and Griner hit a free throw less than a second later for the final margin.
Tulsa head coach Gary Kloppenburg said his team's dismal third quarter proved to be costly.
"We came out a little lethargic in the third quarter," he said. "Sometimes that happens. I am not sure I can explain it."
Regular Season Series
PHX Wins 4-0
- Denise Brooks
- Daryl Humphrey
- Roy Gulbeyan