Diana Taurasi pours in 29 as Mercury overtake Mystics

Diana Taurasi recorded 29 points and seven rebounds to lead the Phoenix Mercury to an 80-75 comeback victory over the visiting Washington Mystics on Thursday night.

Skylar Diggins-Smith added 24 points, nine assists and three steals for Phoenix (11-15), which won for the fifth time in its past eight games. Sophie Cunningham contributed 13 points and seven boards and Shey Peddy had 12 points and three steals for the Mercury, who trailed by 15 points after the first quarter.

Elena Delle Donne notched 19 points and 12 rebounds for Washington (15-11), which lost for just the second time in its past six games. Ariel Atkins added 14 points for the Mystics, who shot just 33.8 percent from the field and were 8 of 27 (29.6 percent) from long distance.

Phoenix made 37.7 percent of its field-goal attempts, including 10 of 26 from 3-point range. Taurasi was 5 of 9 from behind the arc.

Taurasi scored five points during a 7-0 run to open the fourth quarter, giving the Mercury a 65-60 lead.

Washington trailed 71-68 after Shatori Walker-Kimbrough drove for a layup with 3:21 left, but Cunningham drained a 3-pointer 23 seconds later to stretch Phoenix’s lead.

Delle Donne’s 3-pointer pulled the Mystics within 77-73 with 36.6 seconds left. Alysha Clark later made two free throws to pull Washington within 78-75 with 18.2 seconds to play.

Diggins-Smith sank two free throws with 15.8 seconds remaining to increase the lead to five as Phoenix closed it out.

Atkins had eight points in the opening quarter as the Mystics sprinted to a 26-11 lead. Washington shot 8 of 14 in the period before hitting just 14 of 51 (27.5 percent) over the final three quarters.

The Mercury eventually caught Washington at 40 late in the first half. The game was tied again at 43 after Taurasi made a 3-pointer with 38.4 seconds left to complete a 19-point first half.

Myisha Hines-Allen hit two free throws with 26 seconds remaining to give the Mystics a 45-43 halftime lead.

Peddy scored the first four points of the second half to give Phoenix its first lead of the game at 47-45. Taurasi’s 3-pointer boosted the edge to 52-48 with 8:21 left in the period.

Washington scored 12 of the final 18 points in the quarter. Delle Donne’s basket with 3:44 left represented the final points of the stanza as the Mystics took a 60-58 advantage.

–Field Level Media

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