|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0020:00 ET6:00 PM CT23:00 , May 18, 2021
The Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 1,050
Diana Taurasi, Mercury visit winless Mystics
The Phoenix Mercury conclude their season-opening road trip by paying a visit to the Washington Mystics on Tuesday night.
The Mercury will hope to bounce back from Sunday's loss and finish the trip 2-1, while the Mystics are searching for a more solid shooting performance with two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne expected to remain sidelined.
Phoenix beat the Minnesota Lynx 77-75 on opening night on Diana Taurasi's game-winning 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left. The Mercury weren't as fortunate two days later at Connecticut, losing to the Sun 86-78.
Despite building an eight-point lead late in the first quarter, the Mercury had little way of stopping former Phoenix star DeWanna Bonner, who lifted the Sun with a game-high 27 points, including 10-for-12 shooting from the foul line. Phoenix grabbed a two-point lead with three minutes to play but couldn't hold off Bonner or Jonquel Jones, who finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.
"We gave ourselves a chance in the fourth, but at that point they were pretty confident and playing downhill basketball," Taurasi told reporters. "We'll tidy some things up."
The Mystics opened their season at home Saturday with a 70-56 loss to Candace Parker and the Chicago Sky. Washington shot just 25 percent from the field (18-of-72), including 4-of-30 from 3-point land.
Tina Charles made her team debut and scored 14 points -- the only Mystics player to reach double figures.
"Tina's trying to get used to her teammates. They're trying to get used to her," Mystics coach Mike Thibault told reporters. "I think we got her enough field goal attempts, but it was a little bit of a struggle. (The Sky) looked like a team that's been together more and that has practiced more together, and it showed.
"The lack of rhythm and lack of familiarity is a problem right now."
The Mystics have been deliberate about bringing Delle Donne back into the fold. Their star forward has been hampered by back problems after undergoing surgery in 2020 for three herniated discs. She only participated in individual drills during training camp and was expected to miss at least the first week of the regular season.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 17, 2021