Phoenix Mercury Fighting Through Adversity fall Short in Must Win 86-77 to the Lynx 

Coming into tonight’s home matchup with the Minnesota Lynx, the Phoenix Mercury was sitting in the 7th spot before the night began and a win could have cemented that spot.

Hard fought game until the last five minutes of the game when the team got distracted by a few questionable bad calls down the stretch by the referees.

Turnovers played a part in the game but the team total was not the reason for the loss, but Diamond DeShields having seven of the 12 turnovers may have hurt more.

When one of your main scorers has a bad shooting night and more than half of the team’s turnovers (7 of 12) while shorthanded, will most likely be a long night for the team that just simply has run out of scorers that can carry the load.

Not adding the scoring punch tonight DeShields struggled from the field, 3-12 shooting and with that, 1-4 behind the three-point line.

That stat line does not put the loss solely on DeShields, but it made it very difficult for a team that is short-manned down three key star players to have enough firepower to overcome the Linx in a highly contested close game throughout.

With all that being said, they were right there with a great chance to win with the score 82-77, a fast-break opportunity off a key steal was the one play that may have pushed them over the hump to take back the momentum. 

That play ended with the ball being thrown out of bounds by DeShields and giving the Linx the ball in which they scored on an and-one play to salt away the win.

The Mercury led by Sophie Cunningham (24) with six three-pointers, and a season-high from Shay Peddy (21) topped her current high of 20 in the last contest on Tuesday night.

Sophie Cunningham and Shay Peddy lead the Mercury in scoring in a 86-77 loss to the Minnesota Lynx

Phoenix has dealt with great adversity all season long, and there is no secrete the loss of their star center Britney Griner was the biggest gut punch.

Then they get a veteran player Tina Charles to turn her back on them and requested a team divorce, which left the team to play small-ball using forwards as centers being outsized every night.

The next adverse situation hit three games ago when star guard Diana Taurasi went down with a quad injury ending her season.

Then you add in the sudden mystery of their star point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, who was out with a non-Covid illness, and now that status has turned into her being out for personal reasons.

The weird thing that followed was the deleting of her Twitter account, which has raised questions about her well-being across the fan base.

With all of that emotional stress, the Phoenix Mercury has shown grit and fight regardless of whom they have in the line-up, under-manned and under-sized physically but never outdone by the size of their hearts.

Tonight’s 86-77 loss to the Minnesota Lynx may have been their playoff undoing, with two very difficult teams left on their schedule it will take a Herculean effort to overcome yet another tough obstacle.

This team has a tendency to do when their backs are to the wall.

Dallas Wings and Chicago Sky are both cemented in the playoff picture, perhaps both could be gearing up for the playoffs and may rest some key players, or maybe they are still volleying for position and have much to play for.

Regardless, this is it for the Mercury, this loss was a big blow but one more loss may very well be the death blow on their playoff hopes.

Whatever takes place, this team deserves a lot of credit for standing in the face of great adversity and taking its biggest punch, and still having enough in the tank to get up off the canvas and punch back.

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