Wed, 29 Jun 2022

Wings, Mercury looking for identities in clash

Field Level Media
19 May 2022, 09:55 GMT+10

The Phoenix Mercury and Dallas Wings are trying to figure things out during the early stages of the WNBA season.

Both teams are dealing with adjustments and are 2-2. Both teams are coming off losses as they meet Thursday night in Phoenix.

The Mercury are playing without Kia Nurse (knee) and Brittney Griner (detained in Russia) in addition to adjusting to a roster featuring a half-dozen new faces.

"We're still a work in a progress," guard Diana Taurasi said. "We've got to get on the same page and we'll be OK."

Taurasi and fellow All-Star teammate Skylar Diggins-Smith exchanged heated words and had to be separated on the bench during the second quarter of an 86-74 loss at Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Tina Charles led the Mercury with 17 points and nine rebounds, but the game turned when the Aces outscored Phoenix 30-12 in the third quarter.

"We want to be well balanced on both sides," Taurasi said, "and have multiple scorers, multiple people making plays."

Dallas has been playing without All-Star forward Satou Sabally, who could return as early as Saturday. Sabally was named MVP of the finals as her team won the Turkish championship last Sunday.

Her teammates are coming off an 84-68 home loss to league-leading Washington on Tuesday.

The Wings, like Phoenix, lost contact in the third quarter as the Mystics outscored them 31-13 in the period to pull away after leading by just three points at halftime.

"We got here in front of our fans and we became selfish," Dallas coach Vickie Johnson said. "A lot of one-on-one basketball. We didn't move the basketball."

Wings leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale had just six points in 32 minutes as the Wings shot 41 percent from the floor.

"We have to look back and look in the mirror and think, 'What can I do better for the team?'" said guard Marina Mabrey, who scored a team-high 16 points for the Wings.

--Field Level Media

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