Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Mercury, Sparks differ in emotions heading into matchup

Field Level Media
02 Jun 2023, 05:40 GMT+10

The Phoenix Mercury have had a full week to savor their first victory of the young WNBA season.

The Los Angeles Sparks have had nearly a full week to stew over a lopsided loss.

Both teams return to action when they face off Friday night in Phoenix.

The Mercury's last game produced their first victory since Brittney Griner's return as they defeated the visiting Minnesota Lynx 90-81 on May 25.

Diana Taurasi, who turns 41 later this month, led the way with 23 points, making 4 of 9 3-pointers on her way to becoming the oldest player in league history to score 20 or more points.

"I just love to play and to compete," Taurasi said. "I love doing it with other people, and any time I think about not playing, I get really sad. I'm going to keep playing. The day I don't have the energy to do the offseason, I'm definitely not going to do the real season because that's where you win it."

The Sparks struggled against the team that won the league title last season.

They watched the Las Vegas Aces receive their championship rings before their home opener May 27, and the defending champions raced to a 31-13 lead at the end of the first quarter and coasted to a 93-65 victory.

L.A. committed seven turnovers and allowed six second-chance points during the first quarter.

"We were not sharp on either side of the ball early," Sparks coach Curt Miller said. "Between points off turnovers and second-chance points, they hardly had to run halfcourt offense much in the first quarter."

The Sparks trailed by 31 points at halftime before outscoring Las Vegas by three points in the second half.

"We dug ourselves a really big hole in the first half," said guard Nia Clouden, who had eight points and five assists. "In the second half, we came out and kind of turned it around."

--Field Level Media

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