PHOENIX (AP) — Brittney Griner scored 27 points and Diana Taurasi had 15 to move closer to the WNBA scoring record after the Phoenix Mercury beat the Chicago Sky 86-78 on Friday night.
Heading into Sunday’s game in Los Angeles, Taurasi is 14 shy of passing the 7,488 points set by Tina Thompson from 1997-2013. Phoenix’s star was just 2 of 10 from the field and had nine points, all in the first half, until making six free throws in the final minute.
Jessica Breland’s 3-pointer pulled Chicago within 80-75 with just under a minute to play. On the ensuing possession, Cappie Pondexter fouled Taurasi on a shot and then was ejected after picking up two technical fouls. Taurasi made four free throws and, after Kahleah Copper’s three-point play with 32 seconds left, added two more to close out the scoring.
Phoenix (6-4) ended the second quarter with an 11-4 run to lead 45-32 at the half. It could have been a larger margin, but the Mercury made just 12 of 21 free throws. They finished 28 of 39 from the line.
Allie Quigley led Chicago (2-8) with 19 points, Breland had 18 and Pondexter 13. The Sky was 15 of 21 from the line.
LIBERTY 102, WINGS 93, OT
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Shavonte Zellous scored 28 points, including the tying jumper with less than a second remaining in regulation, and the Liberty beat the Wings.
Tina Charles added 25 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for the Liberty (7-4), who outscored Dallas 14-5 in OT and have won five of six. Sugar Rodgers contributed 19 points, including two free throws with 2:53 left in overtime that put New York up for good 92-91, their first lead since the first quarter. Bria Hartley added 17, including an off-balance 3-point heave from the left wing that banked in as the shot clock expired to make it 100-93 with 37.9 seconds to play.
Skylar Diggins-Smith had 23 points for Dallas (4-8), which has lost six of seven. She missed a free throw with 7.1 seconds left in regulation that would have given the Wings a three-point lead. Allisha Gray had 16 points and Glory Johnson added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
After the Diggins-Smith miss, Zellous inbounded the ball, got it back and then knocked down a 15-foot jumper over Johnson from the right wing with less than a second to play to tie the game at 88. Zellous had missed a step-back from near the same spot with 9.1 to go, with Diggins-Smith getting the rebound and foul.
This story has been corrected to show the Mercury made 12 of 21 free throws in the second quarter.