Fever lose heartbreaker to Mercury

The Phoenix Mercury came through Indy today, taking on the Fever, who were coming off its second win of the season after defeating the Minnesota Lynx, which was a needed turn of momentum.  On the other hand, Phoenix came into Gainbridge Fieldhouse looking for their momentum. Entering the game, the Mercury sat at 1-5 while the Fever were 2-5.  

With just under two minutes left in the first quarter the score was 19-14, with  Phoenix holding the lead.  

Mercury Center Brittney Griner led the Phoenix in scoring with 11 points, assisted by G Diana Taurasi with 10 points while the other side of the ball saw Fever F NaLyssa Smith leading the Fever with 7 points with Kelsey Mitchell, who had 4 points.

At the end of the first quarter the score was 26-20 with Mercury leading but the Fever trailing closely.  

The Mercury continued to dominate the first half creating a six-point deficit early in the 2nd quarter.  Michaela Onyenwere made her presence known on the floor with 8 points for Phoenix but the Fever would fight to close the point gap by bringing it back within one point at halftime.  

After closing the gap, both teams continued to fight back and forth but in the end it was Phoenix who would keep the lead by just one point.  The final score of the second half was 43-42 Mercury; At this point it was still anyone’s  ballgame.  

After having a chance to catch their breath, the Fever came out hot; not only did they take the lead but they also created a seven point gap with a lead of 50-43. 

Halfway through the 3rd quarter the Fever held on to their lead but the Mercury continued to fight back. 

With 4:39 left to go, the score sat at 58-53 with Nalyssa Smith tallying 17 points for the Fever while Taurasi had 16 points for the Mercury.  After an eventful third quarter the Fever had just enough time to catch their breath with Phoenix starting to get their confidence and gathering some momentum.

It didn’t take the Mercury long to fight back to the top tying the game at 67 each in just the first minute of the 4th quarter.  

The teams continued to trade the lead as we reached the halfway point of the 4th quarter.  With less than 5 minutes left to play the Fever looked to pull out all the stops to take the lead again 77-74.  

Not to be outdone, however, the Mercury fought back yet again taking the lead back 77-78 with just 2:30 left to play. To say this game was a nail-biter would be an understatement.  

Both of these teams needed the win but there could only be one and the Mercury were the ones to stick it out long enough for the 85-82 win. 

The Fever (now 2-6) are back in action on Tuesday night when they take on the 5-3 Washington Mystics at home. 

-Tim Stepp

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