Diana Taurasi recorded 23 points and 10 assists to help the Phoenix Mercury post a 90-81 victory over the visiting Minnesota Lynx on Thursday night.
Brittney Griner added 19 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots for the Mercury (1-2). Sug Sutton added 14 points off the bench, and Sophie Cunningham and Moriah Jefferson scored 13 apiece for Phoenix.
Aerial Powers scored 20 points off the bench for the Lynx (0-3). Diamond Miller and Jessica Shepard had 13 points apiece and Tiffany Mitchell added 12 for Minnesota.
Taurasi made 9 of 10 from the free-throw line and was 4 of 9 from 3-point range — and 5 of 12 overall — while registering her first 20-point game of the season. She was just 9 of 32 from the field, including 3 of 18 from behind the 3-point line, in Phoenix’s first two games.
The Mercury shot 49.1 percent, including 13 of 28 from 3-point range. Brianna Turner collected 11 rebounds.
Minnesota made 40 percent and was 3 of 18 from behind the arc.
Cunningham drained a 3-pointer to give the Mercury an 81-68 lead with 3:11 to play before Minnesota made one last charge.
Lindsay Allen started a 9-4 run with a 3-pointer and Shepard later made two free throws to bring the Lynx within 85-77 with 1:03 left.
However, Sutton made four free throws over a 17-second span to give Phoenix a 10-point lead with 36.1 seconds left.
The Lynx trailed by 17 at halftime but scored the first six points of the third quarter to move within 57-46.
Phoenix pushed the lead back to 13 on Sutton’s layup with 3:57 left before Minnesota scored six of the next eight points to pull within 67-60 on two free throws by Powers with 1:15 left.
Taurasi answered with a 3-pointer and Griner later added a basket as the Mercury held a 72-62 advantage entering the final stanza.
Taurasi had 15 points and six assists in the first half as the Mercury led 57-40 at the break. Powers had 12 for Minnesota.
Taurasi drained a 3-pointer to make it 48-31 with 4:32 left in the half. Minnesota later pulled within 10 before Phoenix scored the final seven to restore the 17-point advantage.
–Field Level Media