PHOENIX — Diana Taurasi and Stephanie Talbot each scored 14 points to pace five double-figure scorers Friday night while leading the Phoenix Mercury to a 94-74 victory over the Indiana Fever. In front of a pinked-out Breast Health Awareness Night audience of 8,860.
Indiana, 5-25, lost its second straight game while absorbing its 25th loss of the season. Phoenix, 17-14, snapped a two-game losing skid of its own and finished a three-game sweep of Indiana.
With Indiana center Natalie Achonwa in foul trouble after picking up her fourth personal in the opening moments of the third quarter, Phoenix made full use of its size advantage and throttled Indiana by scoring the second-most points ever scored against the Fever in a single quarter, 36. A three-point play by Taurasi gave the Mercury an 18-point lead at the 7:31 mark, and after a bucket from Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix reeled off the next 11 points, capped by a putback by Brittney Griner for a 27-point bulge, 62-35.
Phoenix shot 52 percent for the game and got 10 3-point field goals – three from Leilani Mitchell and two apiece from Talbot, Taurasi, Briann January and Yvonne Turner. DeWanna Bonner added 13 points for the Mercury, Griner pitched in 12 and Turner had 10.
Rookie guard Kelsey Mitchell led Indiana with a game-high 20 points off the bench. Fellow reserve Tiffany Mitchell matched a season scoring high with 17 points and registered a career-high nine rebounds. Cappie Pondexter added 10 for the Fever in a losing effort.
Taurasi’s 3-pointer broke open an 8-8 deadlock and triggered 12 straight points by the Mercury in a two-minute stretch late in the first quarter. The Mercury never trailed again.
The Mercury held on for a 43-29 halftime lead that featured four 3-pointers by Phoenix and three by Fever rookies Victoria Vivians (now 59 this season) and Kelsey Mitchell (now 64).
On Vivians’ second 3 with 3:57 before intermission, Indiana’s two first-round draft picks established a new WNBA record for 3-pointers by a rookie duo (now 123), topping a 19-year mark held by Minnesota’s Tonya Edwards (66) and Katie Smith (52) as rookies in 1999.
Indiana concludes a quick West Coast road trip while traveling to Las Vegas on Saturday.