Phoenix Mercury followed up a dismal performance at New York by beating Eastern conference leading Connecticut Sun. Key for Phoenix was an absolute domination on the boards (they won that battle 45-21) and DeWanna Bonner having one of her better shooting nights of recent weeks. Bonner scored 35 points which included a couple of shots meters behind the three point line. Samantha Prahalis was not dressed for the Mercury after she sustained a shoulder injury in New York. Phoenix led by as much as 21 points. Any attempts by Connecticut to come back were stopped by either inability to prevent Phoenix from grabbing offensive rebounds or stopping DeWanna Bonner.
Los Angeles Sparks came to Washington and had some fun at the expense of the Mystics. The Sparks shot a ridiculous 61% from the field as they cruised against the league worst Mystics. Such walk in the park allowed Candace Parker to have her best game in a while. Sparks can only hope she gets her groove back after quite a few lackluster games.
Chicago Sky tied up the head-to-head tiebreaker against New York, as both teams continue to battle for that fourth place in East. Epiphanny Prince scored 30 points on 8 from 18 shooting as Sky were able to hold off the Liberty and another Rutgers star Cappie Pondexter. Tamera Young had 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting, helping the Sky win without Sylvia Fowles who left the game at the start of the second quarter to what appeared to be some sort of calf injury on her left leg. A couple of weeks ago she had also injured her right knee. With no Fowles in the game Kara Braxton was a force under the basket with her second double-double of the season.
One of the better games of the season was between 2011 WNBA finalists Atlanta Dream and Minnesota Lynx. Atlanta started hot, scoring 52 points in the first half, during which they saw a lead of 25 points (with 1:30 remaining in the half). 11 minutes later their led was just 6 points. In the fourth quarter the Lynx tied the game a couple of times, but weren’t able to take the lead. Taj McWilliams-Franklin made a spectacular block on Atlanta’s final possession in regulation. McWilliams made her mark in the ensuing OT’s, especially the second one where she made two baskets in the final couple of minutes and blocked Angel McCoughtry. Lynx played without Seimone Augustus in the overtimes as she sat out the end of the game with a high ankle sprain. With a comeback from being down 25 points, the Lynx set a new franchise record and tied the league record.
San Antonio Silver Stars led throughout the game against Indiana Fever but crumbled in the final quarter on three three pointers by Katie Douglas and Tamika Catchings. Fever trailed by as much as 14 points in the first half. San Antonio were beaten by their own weapon of choice – three point shooting where Indiana were 8 from 15. Shameka Christon had one of her better offensive games for the Silver Stars – prior to this game she had scored in double digits only once in the previous 14 games. With that win the Fever are now only 1.5 games behind Connecticut.
Phoenix Mercury – Connecticut Sun 91-82
Mercury: Bonner 35, Taurasi 16, Houston 9
Sun: Montgomery 25, Charles 18, McCray 14
Los Angeles Sparks – Washington Mystics 96-68
Sparks: Parker 18, Toliver 18, Beard 16, O’Hea 10
Mystics: Currie 16, Thomas 15, Bobbitt 9
Chicago Sky – New York Liberty 92-83
Sky: Prince 30, Young 19, Vandersloot 12, Cash 10
Liberty: Pondexter 24, Pierson 15, Braxton 13 (11 reb), Carson 12, Powell 9
Atlanta Dream – Minnesota Lynx 93-97 OT
Dream: McCoughtry 30, Harding 23, Hayes 16, de Souza 10
Lynx: Moore 23 (12 reb), Brunson 15 (18 reb), McWilliams-Franklin 15, Augustus 14, Whalen 13, Wiggins 11
Indiana Fever – San Antonio Silver Stars 82-78
Fever: Catchings 26, Douglas 18, January 12, Zellous 11
Silver Stars: Hammon 15, Christon 13, Young 13, Perkins 13, Robinson 11