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WNBA: ‘Springy’ Brittney Griner, Mercury take on struggling Sky

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner can still take flight at the rim.

Griner recorded her 13th career regular-season dunk while playing in her home state of Texas this past Saturday, leading the Mercury to an 89-85 victory over the Dallas Wings.

“As soon as I caught it, I knew,” said Griner, a Houston native who starred in college at Baylor in Waco, Texas. “I attempted one earlier, but I was too far out, and I just hit the rim and got fouled. Everybody was like, ‘Whoa,’ and I was like, ‘I’m feeling springy today.’ Thirty-years old, I can still get up there.”

Griner has scored 27 points in her past two games and will look for a third consecutive prolific outing when Phoenix (3-3) takes on the host Chicago Sky (2-4) on Tuesday night.

The Mercury, who are without Diana Taurasi (fractured sternum), are looking for balanced scoring efforts like the one they received from Griner, who also had 16 rebounds and four assists, and Skylar Diggins-Smith (21 points, seven assists and six rebounds). Guard Kia Nurse also scored a season-high 21 points, making 5-of-10 three-pointers.

The Sky, who are winless at home at 0-4, are looking to snap a four-game losing streak overall and persevere while they wait for key roster players to return from injury.

Chicago couldn’t hold leads at multiple points in Sunday’s 82-79 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Sparks, they committed 25 turnovers and their short-handed bench was outscored 38-11.

Courtney Vandersloot’s 28 points led Chicago, who had only eight players available, including only six with previous WNBA experience. Candace Parker (ankle) missed her fifth consecutive game and Allie Quigley (hamstring) has also missed every game since the opener. Stefanie Dolson is also away from the team with national team duties.

“It’s challenging and it’s getting the best of us,” said Vandersloot, who played her 300th career WNBA game. “Fortunately, it’s early in the season. We know it’s temporary. We have three very good players waiting to come back. We’re professionals. We’re in here grinding every day.”

–Field Level Media

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