PHOENIX (AP) — Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury earned their first win of the WNBA season with a 90-81 victory against the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday night.
Diana Taurasi had 23 points and 10 assists, while Griner added 19 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Phoenix, which finished with 13 3-pointers, hit 11 of 17 3s in the first half for a 57-40 lead. Taurasi had three triples and 15 points at the break.
The 40-year-old Taurasi finished 4 of 9 from 3-point range, giving her 1,300 3s and extending her WNBA record. Sue Bird is second with 1,001.
Aerial Powers paced the Lynx (0-3) with 20 points off the bench. Jessica Shepherd and Diamond Miller had 13 points each and Tiffany Mitchell added 12.
For Phoenix, Sug Sutton had 14 off the bench and Moriah Jefferson and Sophie Cunningham each scored 13 points with three 3-pointers.
The Mercury finished 13 of 28 behind the arc, while the Lynx were 3 of 18. Phoenix went 5 of 6 from 3-point range — with triples from five different players — to open a 27-18 lead after one quarter.
Minnesota came within seven twice late in the third quarter. The Mercury finished 21 of 23 from the free-throw line.
ACES 94, SPARKS 85
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jackie Young scored 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting and defending WNBA champion Las Vegas took control in the third quarter en route to a win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday night.
Down 10 at halftime, Las Vegas rallied by making 12 of 16 shots to outscore the Sparks 31-17 and take a 67-63 lead into the fourth quarter. Aja Wilson scored six straight points before Young had consecutive layups to put the Aces up 61-59.
Wilson finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds for Las Vegas (2-0). Chelsea Gray added 16 points and eight assists, while Candace Parker had 10 points against her former team of 13 seasons.
Gray’s pullup jumper with 1:30 to play gave the Aces an 89-79 lead.
Chiney Ogwumike led the Sparks (1-1) with 19 points, and Lexie Brown had 15. Brown made all four of her shots, including two 3-pointers, to score 10 points to help the Sparks take a 25-15 lead after one quarter.
The Sparks were without leader Nneka Ogwumike because of a non-COVID illness. Dearica Hamby, two months after giving birth, started in her place and scored 11 points.
Hamby joined L.A. in an offseason trade with Las Vegas. She said she had been bullied and manipulated for being pregnant. That led to a WNBA investigation and a two-game suspension for Aces coach Becky Hammon, who denied the accusations.
Hammon will return to the bench when the teams play again Saturday in Las Vegas, when the Aces receive their championship rings.
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