Phoenix overcomes halftime deficit to take down the Shock in Tulsa, 78-66
The Phoenix Mercury (11-7) fought back from a halftime deficit to defeat the Tulsa Shock, 78-66, Thursday night at the BOK Center in front of 4,637 fans.
After a slow start, the Shock (10-9) led Phoenix after the first quarter, 16-13. The Shock missed its first nine shots of the game. Center Courtney Paris scored the first bucket with a lay-up at the 4:54 mark of the first quarter. Tulsa shot 5-for-25 in the quarter.
The Shock had 40-31 advantage going into the break. However, the Mercury outscored the Shock 24-13 in the third quarter to take the lead, 55-53, heading into the last quarter.
DeWanna Bonner led the Mercury with 24 points and nine rebounds. Candice Dupree contributed 20 points and 4 rebounds while Brittney Griner flirted with a triple-double finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks.
Odyssey Sims paced the Shock with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Other Shock players in double figures included Plenette Pierson 14 points and Karima Christmas along with Riquna Williams who contributed 11 points and 4 rebounds each.
Tulsa will host the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday. Phoenix returns to action on Sunday with a road game in Atlanta.
- The Shock has lost 9-of-11 to Phoenix at the BOK Center since relocating to Tulsa in 2010. Tulsa has now dropped three consecutive games at home and five consecutive games overall, which is the franchise’s worst losing streak since July of 2014. The Shock opened the season 6-0 at home.
- Tulsa has led at halftime for all nine home game this season. The Shock is 6-3 when leading at haltime at the BOK Center. Tulsa is 9-5 overall when leading at halftime this season.
- Forward Theresa Plaisance accumulated her second-highest rebound total of the season with four boards in the first half. She amassed the rebounds in 3:49 of playing time.
- Phoenix forward DeWanna Bonner hit her 37th consecutive free throw, which is a WNBA all-time record. Bonner shot 8-for-8 from the free throw line during the game.
- Mercury guard Leilani Mitchell led all players with five assists. She also scored three points and accumulated three steals.
- Phoenix enter Brittney Griner led all players with 10 rebounds. She also leads the WNBA in blocks per game with 4.4 and in total blocks with 48.
Tulsa head coach Fred Williams
On the second half and the overall game
“Close game all the way until the end. I thought we came out with a couple of shots that didn’t go down for us. They ran out on us on the back end. (Phoenix) had an and one to build their lead, and, you know, a couple of quick fouls on us in that last three-minute mark kind of set the tone for, you know, Phoenix, especially Griner and Bonner, who started going to work on the weak side. I thought our young ladies really played hard. It was a great effort to trying to, you know, build that lead some, especially in that third quarter. We just came out empty with a lot of drives to the basket. They had 72 shots at the basket. These young ladies, they know that, and they’ve got to keep working at it, and we will keep working that out of the team. You know, we’ll have some shots falling our way here really soon.”
Tulsa center Courtney Paris
On being prepared for Minnesota
“Just come in and get a good practice and be ready to go. I mean it doesn’t get any easier. It’s two talented teams. Minnesota picked up Sylvia Fowles, so they’ve got a little bit more going for them now. We’ve just got to have a good practice and be ready the next day.”
Tulsa forward Plenette Pierson
On finishing in the second half
“I think we need to buckle down and do what we did in the first half. We have a tendency to go away from that. We have a tendency to go away from our defensive scheme, our offensive scheme. What we really have to do is just focus on staying together and playing together, and staying with our offensive scheme and our defensive scheme and just executing. That’s what it comes down to at the end of the game is just executing.”
Tulsa forward/guard Karima Christmas
On coming out stronger in the third quarter
“We didn’t come out as well as we wanted to. I think that’s something that we kind of need to be focusing on more, especially before the break. You know, our third quarters haven’t been our best quarters, so coming out after halftime and, you know, bringing that same energy that we had in the first half.”
Phoenix head coach Sandy Brondello
On the way tonight’s game went
“It was a bit like our first game back after the All-Star break against Chicago, we were down by 19 at one stage. I just don’t think we brought the appropriate effort level where we needed to. Credit to Tulsa, they were being really aggressive, getting to the free throw line and 24 second-chance points. But we’re a pretty good defensive team, and I think we showed that to keep a team with so many offensive weapons to 26 points in the second half. It was more about us being more aggressive at both ends of the floor.
One why the second half was better
“They tell me patience is a virtue…it’s a forty-minute game not a twenty-minute game. It’s more about being on the front foot, being aggressive, we know who is looking to shoot the ball on the other side, so its’ about bringing the appropriate congestion. Rebounding has been an Achilles heel for us all season long. They only had one offensive rebound (in the second half) so we can do it when we’re focused. So it’s more about that attention to detail.”
Phoenix forward DeWanna Bonner
On her team’s overall performance
“The second half is the way the Phoenix Mercury play. I think they came out very aggressive in the first half and had a great first half against us, and at halftime we kind of sat back and relaxed and regrouped, and we got it going.”
Phoenix center Brittney Griner
On how being more aggressive in the second have was the key to getting the win
“In the second half we came out more on the front foot, where in the beginning we came out on the back foot. That’s what made the difference in the game…collectively, us talking to each other and bringing everybody together, and coach coming in at the half and getting us pumped up to have a little more energy.”
Phoenix forward Candice Dupree
On the team’s slow start
“Our tempo was a little too slow. We wanted to get out and run which we did a much better job of in the second half of the game. Too many offensive rebounds in the first half, I think they had one in the second half. We were okay the first half, but we picked up the tempo and the energy the second half which helped us pull out the win. The score doesn’t tell how close the game was at all.”
On getting up to speed after the All-Star break
“It kind of does take a minute to get back up and running. Like our first game back in Chicago was not pretty by any means. Got to get the rust back off.”
By the Numbers
Points in the Paint: Mercury 8, Shock 6
Second Chance Points: Mercury 0, Shock 2
Fastbreak Points: Mercury 1, Shock 1
Biggest Lead: Mercury 2, Shock 12
Lead Changes: 1
Times Tied: 1