Canada’s Kia Nurse hit five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points, Brittney Griner had 27 points and 15 rebounds and the Phoenix Mercury never trailed in a 89-85 victory over the Dallas Wings on Saturday night.

Griner was 12-of-16 shooting and added four assists. Skylar Diggins-Smith had 21 points, six rebounds and seven assists for Phoenix (3-3).

The Mercury played their second game since guard Diana Taurasi fractured her sternum. She’s expected to miss about four weeks.

Nurse scored eight points — including two 3-pointers — and Diggins-Smith added seven in a 17-3 run to open the game. The Wings missed their first nine field-goal attempts and shot just 36.7% (29 of 79) overall.

WATCH | Kia Nurse shows off hot hand in Mercury win:

The Canadian posted 21 points and went 5 for 10 from three-point range in Phoenix’s 89-85 win over Dallas. 1:05

Marina Mabrey hit a 3 and Arike Ogunbowale followed with another 3-pointer and a three-point play before Mabrey made 2 of 3 from the free-throw line to cap an 11-0 spurt that trimmed the Dallas deficit to 87-84 with 10.5 seconds left but Diggins-Smith answered with a pair of foul shots a couple seconds later and the Mercury held on.

Ogunbowale and Mabrey led the Wings (1-4) with 24 points apiece. Mabrey hit 4 of 7 from 3-point range, grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals. Tyasha Harris added 13 points and Kayla Thornton scored 10.

The Mercury made 31 of 62 from the field and outrebounded Dallas 43-31.

The Wings have lost four in a row since beating the L.A. Sparks 94-71 in their season opener.

Williams powers Dream past Liberty in OT

Courtney Williams has always loved taking the big shot.

With the game tied in overtime and under 10 seconds left, Williams told coach Mike Petersen in a timeout just to give her the ball and she’ll win the game.

Williams did just that, hitting a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left to lift the Atlanta Dream to a 90-87 overtime win over the New York Liberty on Saturday.

“This is what I live for. I live for big shots,” said Williams, who finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. “Confidence is never lacking, I wanted the big shots.”

Petersen, who took over just before the season started when Nicki Collen left for Baylor, said in the final timeout that he was all set to “go all coachie on them, draw up the Mona-stinking-Lisa of plays.”

“Courtney Williams looked at me and said, `Give me the ball.’ She’s playing so good tonight, if I don’t give her the ball there I’m the dumbest man in history.”

With the game tied at 87, Williams took the inbounds with 9.8 seconds left, dribbled to the wing, and hit the tie-breaking shot.

New York (5-2) had one last chance, but Sabrina Ionescu’s fling off the inbounds was off-target.

Both teams struggled in overtime. New York made its only basket on Michaela Onyenwere’s 3-pointer with 1:17 left. Courtney Williams tied the game at 87 with 34 seconds to go. Onyenwere then missed a 3 from the wing with the shot clock winding down to set up Williams’ winner.

Onyenwere finished with a career-best 29 points for the Liberty. Betnijah Laney added 20 points and 11 assists. She’s scored 20 or more points in every game this season.

WATCH | Is it time for the WNBA to come up north?:

Morgan Campbell, Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin discuss the possibility of the WNBA expanding beyond the United States. 4:38

“This is a long season, there will be games like this,” said New York guard Sami Whitcomb. “There’s an ebb and flow to every season. We have to stay even keel. We have to be focusing on the next game.”

Atlanta squandered a six-point lead in the final 3:21 of regulation as New York scored eight straight points to go up 82-80 on Sami Whitcomb’s free throw. Elizabeth Williams then converted a layup with 10.6 seconds left to tie it at 82. She also had a block at the other end when former teammate Laney drove the lane.

Courtney Williams had a chance to win the game at the end of the fourth quarter, but her floater from above the foul line was off the mark.

Atlanta came out sizzling, making 13 of its first 18 shots, all from inside the 3-point line. The Dream led 28-17 after one quarter and extended that lead to 13 in the second quarter before Onyenwere got hot from the outside and rallied the Liberty to a 43-43 tie. She finished the half with a career-high 21 points, but Atlanta led 49-45 at the break.

The Dream lost guard Chennedy Carter late in the third quarter when she went down hard while driving to the basket and injured her right arm. She didn’t return.

“She wasn’t going to go back in. I don’t even have a guess on it,” Petersen said. “She’s in there smiling and laughing right now, so that’s a good sign.”

WATCH | What addition of Andrew Wiggins means for Canadian basketball:

This week on North Courts, Vivek, Meghan and Jevohn discuss the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria, and their favourite Canadian playoff moments. 19:33


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here