With Diana Taurasi out with a right quad injury and Skylar Diggins-Smith out with a non-covid illness, the Phoenix Mercury get a massive 76-62 win over the New York Liberty. The Mercury trailed the Liberty coming into the game for the final playoff spot. With the win, they are now the eighth seed with a week to go in the season.
Mercury Players Step Up
When your start players are out, you need other players to step up, which is what happened for the Mercury on Saturday night. Diamond DeShields had 25 points on 10-26 shooting from the field; 21 of Deshields’s 25 points came in the first half. She also added eight rebounds.
Shey Peddy was another player that stepped up, scoring 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Peddy played well in the second half, and it helped Phoenix build their lead. Sophie Cunningham pitched in with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Defense and Rebounding
The Mercury’s defense played outstanding against the Liberty; they held New York to 30.9% shooting from the field and 21.9% from beyond the arc. Phoenix’s active defense held New York to 62 total points.
Sabrina Ionescu scored 20 points, but nobody else scored in double figures for the Liberty. In Inoescu’s last game again the Mercury, she dished out 16 assists; on Saturday night, she had five.
The Mercury did outstanding on the boards; they outrebounded the Liberty 40-35. Phoenix will need to rebound and defend well if they want to make the play in the playoffs.
Up next for Phoenix will be the Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday at home. The Lynx are also gunning for the playoffs. There will be a lot of exciting games to close the season for teams in the playoff hunt.
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LaMarr Fields is a WNBA Insider, Sports Insider, and breaking news reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on Twitter via @lburncitysports