The Phoenix Mercury finally ended their seven-game losing streak.
Now they’ll try to win two games in a row for the second time this season when they host the Atlanta Dream on Friday.
“We had some ups and downs and took our lumps early, but now we’re looking to go on a stretch the other way,” said Skylar Diggins-Smith, who scored a season-high 29 points in an 81-74 victory against the visiting Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday.
The Mercury (3-8) got all but 10 of their points from the starting five, which didn’t include center Tina Charles, who has missed the last two games because of a shoulder injury.
“This is a group that’s sick of losing and we were trying to find any way that we could to win,” Phoenix coach Vanessa Nygaard said. “A lot of things were stacked against us, but that doesn’t matter once you’re playing the game. That was absolute determination and willpower and grit that you saw from those players. They found a way defensively.”
The Mercury held the Sparks’ starting five to a mere 39 points.
The Dream (7-5) are one win away from matching their total for all of last season, when they finished 8-24.
They made a move to further strengthen their roster when they acquired Asia “AD” Durr in a trade with the New York Liberty on Wednesday.
Durr averaged 9.7 points as a rookie in 2019, but caught COVID-19 in 2020 and suffered through the long-term effects last season. Durr has averaged 1.4 points in 10 games this season, but Atlanta hopes Durr will gradually return to the form they showed before getting sick.
“We are excited for the opportunity to add AD to our roster,” Dream coach Tanisha Wright said. “We understand the obstacles AD has fought through to get back to playing basketball, and we look forward to teaming up with them and continuing that journey.”
–Field Level Media