Diana Torassi drives Mercury to Atlanta on the eve of her 40th birthday

With the Atlanta Dream dominating all through the match, Phoenix Mercury could not afford to lose all the things within the final seconds.

The dream got here again once more with three three-pointers within the final three minutes to chop the deficit of 9 factors and fall behind by one level within the final 9 seconds.

However as miser Mercury’s protection can be, Dream’s scorching shot wasn’t in a position to come again once more as a result of the crew missed its final shot when the clock was up.

Consequently, Mercury (4-8) gained their second straight sport with a 90-88 victory on Friday on the footprint middle. Mercury had beforehand misplaced 27 factors to Dream in Atlanta in late Might.

“It was vital to be trustworthy. I needed to verify we win as a result of that was awkward within the final match and I feel we responded rather well. We glance good and we’re nonetheless studying from one another and constructing chemistry. Successful is a win,” stated Shi Bedi, Mercury’s protector.

With winger Sophie Cunningham injured and unable to convey power from the bench, Bede and Megan Gustafson scored 13 factors.

With Tina Charles again in middle, Brianna Turner acquired again in energy ahead and thrived in protection. Turner led the crew’s rebound effort with 13 in opposition to the Sports activities Dream Workforce. Mercury completed with 38 rebounds to 35 rebounds.

With out Brittney Griner there to bounce again, Turner has taken on the burden this season in Griner’s absence.

“With it not right here, I am making an attempt to remain on the boards a little bit bit extra realizing it is not there. I am simply making an attempt to give attention to rebounding these days,” Turner stated.

Charles acquired on to Mercury early within the first quarter when each groups have been contemplating one another’s plans by throwing the ball twice to advance 4-2. She completed in the long run with 20 factors and 9 rebounds, having missed the final two video games with a proper shoulder damage.

She undoubtedly got here again with hearth. She was actually prepared to return again. She noticed how we performed the final two video games and we performed effectively, however her addition tonight actually sparked and kindled one thing inside us. When she’s scorching and when she needs the ball, we’ve got to feed the massive lady,” Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard stated.

Mercury set the tone early with defensive pauses, limiting the dream to 4 discipline targets and capturing at 21.1 p.c.

Mercury’s early begin was carried over because the Dream was just one level forward of the sport. On the finish of the third quarter, Mercury superior by 5 factors and silenced the dream by 10 factors within the first two minutes of the fourth quarter.

Younger striker and first-place WNBA draft first-quarter Ryan Howard was contained to 1 discipline aim in 5 makes an attempt, however elevated within the second quarter with a 4-of-5 launch. Howard’s sport managed within the third quarter after being restricted to a few factors.

The quiet third quarter wasn’t sufficient to comprise Howard’s prowess as she got here to chase Mercury within the fourth quarter with three three-pointers. It virtually drained the match winner within the final 13 seconds, however it went too far. Howard nonetheless had an excellent sport with 25 factors and 5 assists, together with 9 of 18 shootings.

Cheyenne Parker turned one other downside for Mercury after she scored two 3-point makes an attempt within the fourth quarter. Parker completed 13 rebounds and 20 factors, however was unable to land his final likelihood to win the match.

On the eve of her fortieth birthday, Diana Torassi led with 23 factors and 6 assists. Torassi made three of the ten three-pointers Mercury made.

“We’ll by no means see something like this,” Nygaard stated. “Her skill to grasp the sport and dictate the sport and decelerate the sport. She helped me loads as a rookie coach. I do not suppose there may be an equal in basketball, I do not know. She offers with the ball in each possession, she comes to a decision in each sport, she coordinates all the things, she has Two little children in the home. It simply proves how wonderful a girl is.”

Mercury will go on a four-game street journey beginning with the Washington Mystics on Sunday.

Attain the reporter in jenna.ortiz@arizonarepublic.com or 602-647-4122. Comply with her on Twitter Tweet embed.

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