It has been a very heartbreaking week for Phoenix basketball against Dallas, as the Mercury follow suit on the same floor drop under .500 with a 94-84 loss to the Dallas Wings.
The outcome was not as bad as their hometown partners the Suns and it was not in a playoff game, but it was another tough home loss in the early season by the Mercury.
The game plan looked perfect in the beginning, as the Mercury traded baskets and also had four lead changes during the first quarter.
Then much like in the Suns and Mavs matchup, the dominant player of Dallas took over the game.
Arike Ogunbowale was a scoring machine as she dropped 20 first-half points, and dueled toe to toe topping Diana Taraisi’s heroic efforts to drop 37 total on the night.
Every time it looked like Phoenix would make a push to take the lead back, Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey would silence their efforts with big three-point baskets.
Alisha Gray also hit two big timely threes to keep Dallas ahead, then the star of the game Arike sealed the deal with a buzzer-beater of the shot clock on an inbounds play to put the Wings up 88-84.
The battle got chippy early in the second quarter after Marina Merry and Diana Taurasi squared off, Taurasi received a technical for the altercation.
That scuffle gave the Mercury team fighting juice, as they battled all night to try and get back in the lead.
But Dallas had control of the game and didn’t allow the Mercury to get over the hump.
After the game in the media room, Diana was asked about the altercation between her and Mabrey, Tiarasi answers as only she would say
“That goes back in our days of Notre dame and Connetcuit” joking of course, she finished with “that’s just two competitors going at it that basketball”.
Diana did all she could to hold down the fort as the mercury came into the game short-handed.
Playing without Skylar Diggins-Smith, who was out for a non-Covid illness.
Most thought at first that maybe she was out because of the pushing match between her and teammate Diana Taurasi on the bench in their last contest prior to tonight.
Taurasi dropped 31 and had a 14-point fourth quarter to keep the Mercury in the game with a chance to win, but fell short as she was outnumbered 3 to 1 to Dallas firepower.
Mercury will go on the road for the next two weeks and will match up with the Las Vegas Aces again for the third meeting in as little as six games.