By: Kayla Mortellaro
Diana Taurasi proved her accurate nickname of the “White Mamba” Friday night by carrying the Phoenix Mercury to a game one win over the Los Angeles Sparks.
The Mercury squeaked out a close one, 75-72 to take a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference semi-finals. Taurasi scored 34 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the field and 8 of 8 from the free throw line.
Head coach Sandy Brondello commented on Taurasi’s performance after the game,
She does what it takes to win. Anything.”
Candice Dupree had a big night for the Mercury with 13 points. DeWanna Bonner played tight defense down the stretch and forced a key turnover by the Sparks best player, Candice Parker.
The Mercury continue their quest at glory with game two of the series Sunday, August 24, in Los Angeles at 6 p.m.
In order to move on to the Western Conference finals, the Mercury will need a better performance from Defensive Player of the Year, Brittney Griner, who spent much of game one in foul trouble and only contributed six points and seven rebounds.
Brondello knows the team needs to come together and play up to their championship caliber ways like they have all season-long. After the win last night she said,
It wasn’t our best game. Turned the ball over way too much. We played tight. Credit LA, they are a heck of a team.”
Despite what was a tough and hard-fought game, the Mercury hold the lead in the series and are in control to continue advancing throughout the WNBA playoffs.