Storm guard Jewell Loyd (left) loses control of the ball as Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) and forward DeWanna Bonner defend during the first half of Game 3 of a semifinal game on Aug. 31, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Storm guard Jewell Loyd (left) loses control of the ball as Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) and forward DeWanna Bonner defend during the first half of Game 3 of a semifinal game on Aug. 31, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Mercury quiet Storm, force Game 4 in semifinals

DeWanna Bonner scores 27 points and adds 11 rebounds to lead Phoenix to an 86-66 win over Seattle.

  • By John Marshall Associated Press
  • Friday, August 31, 2018 10:31pm
  • SportsStorm

Associated Press

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Mercury lost a starter before the ball went in the air. Their best player struggled to get her shots to fall, their opponent went on another big run.

DeWanna Bonner, with a big boost from Yvonne Turner, kept their season going.

Taking over the offensive lead, Bonner had 27 points and 11 points to help the Mercury to an 86-66 win over the Seattle Storm on Friday night to force a Game 4 in the WNBA semifinal series.

“This was our season,” Mercury coach Sandy Brondello said. “We knew we were close there (Seattle) and needed to go out and do it for 40 minutes.”

The Mercury suffered a blow before the game, learning starting forward Stephanie Talbot would not play due to a concussion. Phoenix also had to play through a difficult night offensively for Diana Taurasi, who had eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.

The Mercury got off to another good start and had a big rally in the fourth quarter, just like the series’ first two games. This time, Phoenix kept it close in the middle quarters before reeling off the first 14 points of the fourth quarter, cutting Seattle’s lead to 2-1 in a series that heads to Game 4 on Sunday in Phoenix.

Brittney Griner had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Mercury. Turner was superb in Talbot’s place, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals to help Phoenix end a 10-game losing streak in WNBA semifinal games.

“I always make sure I’m doing what I need to do, knowing what our schemes are and when I need to step up, I have to step up,” Turner said. “I was able to do that tonight.”

The Storm struggled in the fourth quarter for the third straight game. Unlike the first two games, Seattle did not have a big cushion to fall back on, extending its playoff road losing streak to eight straight games, dating to 2011.

Natasha Howard had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Storm. Breanna Stewart added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

“We were playing catch-up most the game, but never could quite get back in it,” Storm coach Larry Hughes said. “We’d kind of get back in, kind of separate, kind of get back in, but never really had control of the game.”

Seattle won the first two games with the same score (91-87) and the same formula: Use big runs in the middle two quarters to build double-digit leads, then hold off a late Mercury charges. The Storm turned missed shots and turnovers into transition points during their big runs, were not able to get out on the break when Phoenix rallied.

Phoenix got off to third straight good start in the series, hitting 10 of 21 shots in the first quarter to lead 26-16.

Just like the first two games, the Storm answered with a big run, using a 15-4 stretch to go up 31-30.

This time, the Mercury didn’t wait until the fourth quarter to answer, building the lead back to 42-35 at halftime behind Bonner’s 18 points.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens’ Cole Becker celebrates a touchdown with teammates after putting his team up against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
2022-23 Herald Athletic Cup: Lake Stevens captures 1st place

The Vikings win the competition, which rewards local high schools for their overall athletic success, for the second straight year.

Jackson's Ben Lee poses with his first-place medal after winning the 4A boys singles state tennis tournament on May 27, 2023, in Kennewick. (WIAA photo)
Winning state tennis title ‘special feeling’ for Jackson’s Lee

The sophomore sensation took home the 4A boys singles crown at the state tennis tournament over Memorial Day weekend.

Jimmy Joyce
Joyce’s return gives AquaSox’s rotation big boost

The 24-year-old, who led the Northwest League in strikeouts last season, hadn’t pitched all season due to a forearm strain.

Spring 2023 All-Wesco teams

Note: All-Wesco teams are chosen by the league’s coaches. For any misspellings… Continue reading

Everett Community College has hired longtime assistant coach Daniel Thompson (middle) as its new head men's basketball coach. (EvCC Athletics photo)
EvCC names Thompson new men’s basketball head coach

Thompson, 35, has been an assistant with the Trojans for 9 seasons and takes over for Mike Trautman, who stepped down in April.

Hammer throw.
Local trio shines in high school hammer throw finals

Adrianna Coleman and Kimberly Beard place 1-2 in the women’s portion, and Calvin Gutierrez takes 2nd in the men’s championship.

Washington celebrates a home run by Rylee Holtorf (3) at home plate during the second inning of an NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against Utah Friday, June 2, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)
UW opens Women’s College World Series with key win over Utah

After being rained out on Thursday, Washington beats Utah 4-1 to advance into the winner’s bracket.

Hops rally in 9th inning to sink AquaSox

Reid VanScoter turns in an impressive outing, but Everett’s bullpen falters late in a 4-3 defeat.

Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (left) reaches down to tag out the Mariners’ Teoscar Hernande, who was trying to stretch a single into a double during the third inning of a game Friday in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Mariners’ bats silent in shutout by Rangers

Seattle’s offense musters just three hits in the 2-0 defeat.

AquaSox can’t make huge rally hold, lose to Hops

Everett takes the lead with six runs in the eighth, but allows two runs back in the ninth and falls 13-12 to Hillsboro.

The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: 3 Jackson grads to D-I baseball tournament

Plus, Jayden White is headed back to the NCAA track and field nationals, the Silvertips sign their first-round picks and more.

The Mariners’ Cal Raleigh smiles as a teammate throws bubblegum at him during an interview after Raleigh hit a single to drive in the winning run against the Yankees during the 10th inning of a game Wednesday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Raleigh’s RBI single in 10th gives M’s 1-0 win over Yankees

George Kirby pitches one of the best games of his young career with eight shutout innings in Seattle’s 1-0 win.