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Diana Taurasi (27 points) propels Mercury past Fever

Sportsnaut
Sep 7, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; The WNBA logo on a ball during the fourth quarter of game one of the WNBA finals between the Seattle Storm and the Washington Mystics at KeyArena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Diana Taurasi sank seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points as the host Phoenix Mercury defeated the Indiana Fever 83-71 on Monday night.

Skylar Diggins-Smith added 17 points, Sophie Cunningham scored 16 and Diamond DeShields had 11 for the Mercury (8-12), who won their second straight after a three-game losing streak.

Kelsey Mitchell scored 22, NaLyssa Smith added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Emma Cannon scored 12 for all of her team’s bench points and Victoria Vivians also had 12 to lead the Fever (5-15), who scored just 13 points in the fourth quarter and 30 in the second half.

Mitchell made just 5 of 16 field-goal attempts.

These teams will meet again Wednesday night in Phoenix.

Down by four point at halftime, the Fever got within one on Vivians’ basket midway through the third quarter.

Diggins-Smith answered with a 3-pointer and assisted on Taurasi’s 3-pointer for a 57-50 lead.

Another 3-pointer by Taurasi and a basket by Reshanda Gray pushed the lead to 10 points.

Indiana closed within six points twice before Diggins-Smith’s basket gave the Mercury a 66-58 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Cannon’s basket started the fourth-quarter scoring, but Diggins-Smith answered with a jumper and Indiana went scoreless for more than three minutes.

Mitchell’s 3-pointer ended the drought, but Phoenix made six straight free throws and Cunningham added a 3-pointer for a 77-65 with 2:50 left.

Taurasi made two 3-pointers during an 8-0 run that gave the Mercury a 16-7 lead midway through the first quarter.

Mitchell hit a 3-pointer and Smith added a three-point play as the Fever closed within 22-21 at the end of the period.

A 3-pointer by Cunningham started the second-quarter scoring before Vivians scored eight points during a 13-3 run that gave Indiana a 34-28 lead.

Cunningham scored eight points, including the final five of the quarter, as Phoenix took a 45-41 lead into halftime.

–Field Level Media