Friday, October 30th, 2020

Mercury dispatch Fever 89-78 to advance to second round of WNBA Playoffs

Published on September 21, 2016


The Phoenix Mercury moved past the first round of the WNBA Playoffs with an 89-78 victory on the road at the Indiana Fever. The game marked the end of the career of basketball legend Tamika Catchings who finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Before the game she received the 2016 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.

The teams went back and forth in the first quarter, with seven lead changes in the first 10 minutes. They finished the period tied at 18. The Fever held a slight edge in the second quarter and went into the second half with a 38-35 lead.

The Mercury were hot in the third quarter outscoring their opponent 24-19. The streak continued in the last period as Phoenix outpaced Indiana 30-21.

Diana Taurasi led Phoenix with 20 points. Brittney Griner contributed 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Candice Dupree and Penny Taylor had 12 points, five rebounds each.

In addition to Catchings, four other Fever players were in double figures including Marissa Coleman with 13 points. Erlana Larkins and Briann January scored 12 points each. Larkins also pulled down six rebounds and January dished out nine assists. Erica Wheeler added 10 points.

The Mercury had 42 points in the paint compared to the Fever’s 32. Indiana had slight rebounding edge at 31 to Phoenix’s 29.

The Mercury heads to New York to face the Liberty on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden. The game will be broadcast on NBA TV or ESPN3.

Phoenix faced the Liberty in New York twice during the regular season. The teams split the two contests. The Mercury came away with a 104-97 overtime win at The Garden on June 26, but fell to New York earlier this month, 92-70. Both original members of the 20-year-old WNBA, Phoenix and New York have met just once in the playoffs, an August 28, 1997, win by the Liberty in the league’s inaugural postseason.


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