For Brianna Turner, Phoenix Mercury’s 105-100 overtime win on Wednesday night was an out of body experience.
Not just because of his 21 rebounds in the franchise, but also because of how the final seconds of regulation went at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Former Mercury star DeWanna Bonner tripled against Turner, then, after a turn-over, two free throws for an 89-86 lead with 3.4 seconds left.
Skylar Diggins-Smith ran onto the field for a 30-foot success that beat the buzzer for the momentum Mercury maintained into the extra five minutes for his seventh win in his last eight games.
“I already felt really bad because I was protecting DB (Bonner, his former teammate) when he hit those last three,” Turner said. “My soul has left my body. Then when Sky hit those three my soul came back and I was so relieved. This is the player who is Skylar. It is so strong. She is honestly one of the most amazing teammates I have ever had. ”
They both played Notre Dame even though they were apart for three years, and that was sort of Irish playing chance for Mercury.
After leading by 20 points at halftime (51-31) against a team against which they had never had the advantage on Monday, the Mercury were beaten 33-10 in the third quarter, testing their seasonal resilience. awesome.
Diana Taurasi went from a goalscorer to more than one distributor during the quarter / overtime, distributing five of her seven assists, with Kia Vaughn and Shey Peddy playing key games to finish Diggins-Smith in critical regulatory moments.
Peddy’s recovery with 17.3 seconds left in the quarter gave Mercury a chance to play for the final blow. Instead, Diggins-Smith immediately went to the basket, scoring but nearly failing to leave 13.8 on the clock.
“It was terrible time management on my part,” said Diggins-Smith. “I went too early. I left DB Time. ”
But Vaughn quickly handed him the ball after Bonner’s free throws. “
We played pretty much the same at the end of the second quarter,” said Diggins-Smith on a trip from coast to coast. “This time I knew I needed a three and I just pulled it. There was no need to celebrate because we still have five minutes. But I was glad I had the opportunity. ”
In the first extra time of the Mercury season, Taurasi did a triple followed by a Diggins-Smith pull-up for a five-point lead (96-91) with 55.3 seconds left. The Sun (10-11) failed to come close to three when Taurasi and Peddy teamed up for four knockdown free throws.
Mercury (13-8) didn’t get any worse than fifth in the WNBA with a regular season game to play. There is still a chance for a fourth and first farewell to Minnesota (13-7) if the right combination of events occur between Thursday and Sunday, including a victory for Mercury over championship leader Seattle on Friday.
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Most likely, Mercury will play costume no. 8 – Dallas, Washington or Atlanta – in a first-round playoff game on Sept.15.
Mercury manager Sandy Brondello has said that if it is possible to level up, his team will compete for it against Tempest. If the playoff setting is set, it would likely limit minutes for Taurasi, 38, and possibly others, as they were forced to play for a long time due to injuries.
Mercury won with seven players on Wednesday,
minus forwards Alanna Smith (ankle) and Nia Coffey (foot). Vaughn, who was doubtful when he entered the game with a sore knee, had 12 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes.
Diggins-Smith set a season record 33 points (two of his career high) with six assists. Taurasi had 28, including 18 in the first half. Bonner had 32 for the Sun and Thomas, after none in the first half, 18 plus 17 rebounds.
Turner’s 21 rebounds improved the record of 19 franchises set by Candice Dupree in 2011 in Mercury’s 24th season. He also had 10 points, five assists and four blocks, a leap from his first game against Connecticut (4/8/1/0).
“The last game I was so disappointed with my performance,” said Turner.
“He was quite pathetic, defensive and offensive. In this game I wanted to focus a lot on defense and getting rebounds. ”
— Phoenix Mercury (x) (@PhoenixMercury) September 10, 2020
For the 30-year-old, winning the playoffs matters more, even in a comeback season (she lost all of 2019 after giving birth to her son) as she played at all-round level. leagues or almost.
“I made the playoffs earlier than ever,” he said.
“I don’t individually care what I’m doing now. Maybe I’ll think about it later, but for now I’m just trying to keep the pace we had, keep the pace and contribute. to this team. That’s all I have to do. I think. I just want to win and keep playing hard for this team. ”
Diggins-Smith is in the top 10 in the league in terms of scores (17.8 PPG) and assists (4.4). He made the All-WNBA first team in 2014 (20.1 points / 5.0 assists) and 2017 (18.5 / 5.8).
On Wednesday, he averaged 23.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.
2 assists in the previous six games. On Tuesday, she was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career and her first with Mercury.