Brittney Griner scored a season-high 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the visiting Phoenix Mercury overcame the absence of Diana Taurasi to beat the Las Vegas Aces 99-90 in overtime Wednesday night.
Skylar Diggins-Smith added 27 to help lead the Mercury (8-9), who bounced back from a 31-point loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday in which Griner had just six points.
Sophie Cunningham started in place of Taurasi, who was a last-minute scratch due to undisclosed “soreness” after going through pregame warmups, and she scored 13 points.
A’ja Wilson had 25 points and 12 rebounds, Chelsea Gray added 19 points, Liz Cambage scored 16, Jackie Young had 12 and Kelsey Plum 10 to lead the Aces (14-5), who had won four straight.
Griner made a hook shot and two jumpers and Diggins-Smith added a 3-pointer as the Mercury scored the first nine points of overtime. The Aces didn’t score until Gray’s 3-pointer with 49.8 seconds left in the extra session.
Kia Nurse’s 3-pointer gave the Mercury a 56-45 edge in the third quarter before the visitors went ice cold.
The Aces scored the next 18 points as Phoenix went scoreless for more than six minutes. Diggins-Smith’s two free throws ended the drought with 5.4 seconds to go in the third, leaving Las Vegas with a 63-58 lead.
Brianna Turner made two free throws that pulled Phoenix even at 69 early in the fourth quarter.
The score was tied five more times, the last at 84 after Wilson’s two free throws with five seconds left. Cambage blocked Griner’s shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.
Las Vegas had an 20-17 lead before Griner scored four points and Megan Walker hit a 3-pointer to give Phoenix a 24-20 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Wilson had two baskets and an assist as Las Vegas pulled even at 26.
The Mercury scored the next seven points, and Cunningham’s 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left gave Phoenix a 50-43 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media
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