Diamond DeShields scored a season-high 25 points as the host Phoenix Mercury ended a three-game losing streak and strengthened their playoff hopes with a 76-62 victory over the New York Liberty on Saturday night.
Shey Peddy added 20 points and Sophie Cunningham scored 18 as the Mercury (14-19) overcame the absence of star guard Diana Taurasi (quad injury) to move into eighth place by jumping over New York.
Sabrina Ionescu scored 20 points to lead the Liberty (13-19), who saw their three-game winning streak end.
The Liberty scored the first four points of the third quarter to close within 43-38.
Jennie Simms made a 3-pointer and another basket to push the lead back to 10 points.
New York closed within seven points before DeShields converted a three-point play and Phoenix went on to take a 58-46 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Brianna Turner and Peddy scored back-to-back baskets to start the fourth-quarter scoring and push the lead to 16.
Ionescu’s floater produced the Liberty’s first points of the quarter before Peddy made consecutive 3-pointers that sandwiched a 3-pointer from Ionescu to extend the lead to 68-51.
The Liberty closed within eight points twice, but the Mercury scored the final six points of the game.
DeShields scored seven points as the Mercury took an 11-5 lead in the first. They led by as much as 10 before taking a 25-16 lead into the second quarter. DeShields scored 14 points in the period.
Cunningham started the second-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer, and she added another basket that pushed the lead to 33-18.
The Liberty scored the next five points and Ionescu scored the final five points of the quarter to pull New York within 43-34 at halftime.
DeShields’ 22 points at the half left her one point short of her previous season high for a game.
–Field Level Media
Follow us on Google news for more updates and News