Mercury clocks highest scoring quarter in WNBA history, keeps playoff hopes alive

Courtesy: Mercury

When you need a big win, getting off to a good start is crucial in any sport.

How about the most points in a single quarter in WNBA history?

That’s what Phoenix did in the opening period against Connecticut, putting up 45 points on 16 of 17 shooting.

“It was crazy,” Brittney Griner said. “I didn’t even realize it until [Michaela Onyenwere] pointed it out on the bench…I looked up, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ That’s pretty cool.”

“We kept making shots,” interim head coach Nikki Blue said. “I didn’t realize it was that many shots…It was great team basketball in the first quarter. I joke with them – we had the best first quarter in WNBA history…then the worst second quarter. Essentially, that’s kind of how our season has been…but earlier in the season we would’ve lost this game.”

The insane start propelled them to a 90-84 victory.

Bad turnovers and allowing second-chance points led to the Sun cutting PHX’s 21-point lead down to four in the second quarter.

The Mercury responded effectively in the third, tightening up the passing lanes and making it straight up stuffy below the arc.

“Don’t let them put us on our heels and we not do the same thing to them,” Moriah Jefferson said. “Our defense has been really good the past few games…we keep that up, we’ll be fine.”

“Helping each other out,” Griner said. “Somebody gets beat, someone’s sliding over…we adjusted. Any time we have [Brianna Turner] sliding over, I know it’s a block.”

At this point of the season, every stop, every game weighs heavy on Phoenix’s chances of making the playoffs.

PHX sits at 10th place – 3.5 games back from the eighth seed (and final spot in the postseason).

As the squad prepares to hit the road, where it’s 1-13, it will face the Storm on Sunday.

“Seattle has beaten us three times,” Blue said. “They have our number this year…Our focus and our mindset going into this game is, we have to go in there and take care of business.”

The Mercury’s candle of hope continues to burn bright, but it’ll need every ounce of oil to stay that way with 11 games to go.

Extra sights and sounds from tonight’s game: