Game Preview: Phoenix Mercury | September 3, 2019

PREVIEW: PHOENIX MERCURY

Sept. 3, 2019

HOW TO WATCH

The Seattle Storm will wrap up the 2019 WNBA regular season on the road with a three-game trip beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3 against the Phoenix Mercury. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT on ESPN2. Fans can also follow live stats on StormBasketball.com or on Twitter by following @seattlestorm.

LAST TIME OUT

The Seattle Storm secured the regular-season series against the Atlanta Dream with a 92-75 victory on Sunday in its regular-season home finale. Second-year point guard and 2019 WNBA Most Improved Player candidate Jordin Canada tallied a career-high 21 points paired with eight assists and five steals to lead the Storm, which shot 58.5 percent from the field and collected 54 points in the paint.

Although Atlanta connected on a season-high 14 three-pointers, including five from Renee Montgomery, Seattle surged ahead to an early double-digit lead behind a perfect half from Alysha Clark, who entered the locker room with 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting. The Storm led by as many as 20 points in the second half, but Atlanta pulled within four points on an Alex Bentley three-pointer with under five minutes to go. However, Bentley’s triple marked the final field goal for the Dream, as the Storm closed out the game on a 15-2 run.

SERIES HISTORY

Tuesday’s matchup marks Seattle’s first visit to Talking Stick Resort Arena since Games 3-4 of the 2018 WNBA semifinals. Carrying a 2-0 series lead, the Storm lost both road contests as the Mercury forced a winner-take-all Game 5 at KeyArena. Wearing a protective facemask to support a broken nose suffered in Phoenix, Sue Bird dropped 14 points in the fourth quarter to clinch a third trip to the WNBA Finals.

Seattle currently holds a one-game edge over the Mercury for the seven seed in the 2019 WNBA playoffs. The teams have split the first two meetings of the 2019 season, with the Storm taking the season opener on May 25. The second meeting occurred at University of Washington’s Alaska Airlines Arena, where the Mercury narrowly came out on top, 69-67.

Seattle holds the all-time record between these two teams, 42-31, and an additional win this season would give the Storm its third regular-season series in the last four years.

SCOUTING PHOENIX

The Phoenix Mercury suffered a 105-78 loss in the Windy City on Sunday despite a well-rounded performance from WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week Brittney Griner, who tallied 26 points, nine rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocks in the defeat. Though DeWanna Bonner recorded her ninth double-double of the season, the duo combined for just 12 points in the second half.

Phoenix trailed by just one point at halftime, but struggled coming out of the locker room, as the Sky kicked off the third quarter with a 20-4 run and held Phoenix to under 30 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes.

Over Phoenix’s last three games, WNBA all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi has totaled five points on 1-for-18 shooting. However, she has dished out 21 assists, leading to 46 Phoenix points, including 20 scored by Brittney Griner.

UP NEXT

The Storm wrap up its final contests on the road, heading to Los Angeles on Sept. 5 and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network, tip off at 7 p.m. PT. Seattle will finish the regular season in Dallas on Sept. 8, on ESPN3 and will tip off at 1 p.m. PT.