You can never really predict a blowout, but the Mercury’s rout wasn’t exactly surprising.
There really wasn’t much to see in the Phoenix Mercury’s 100-78 rout of the Tulsa Shock tonight.
The Mercury were shooting over 75% from the 3-point line through the first 33 minutes of this game, which certainly helps to explain the lopsided outcome. Guard Erin Phillips had a plus/minus of +30, which occasionally happens when someone plays 22 minutes of a rout.
Other than that, the game re-affirmed a pattern that we just have to accept about this WNBA season: there’s a serious talent gap between the top and bottom of the Western Conference and the Phoenix Mercury are significantly better than the Tulsa Shock this year, no matter how you slice it.
Perhaps noteworthy though is that the Shock did a relatively good job defending superstar Mercury center Brittney Griner: Griner struggled to establish deep position near the basket against Courtney Paris and finished the game shooting just 2-for-8 from the field. Of course, she more than made up for that with her ability to get 12 free throw attempts and ultimately finished the game with 14 points. Diana Taurasi had a team-high 16 points and Phillips added 15. Anete Jekabsone-Zogota contributed 15 as well, but 8 were scored in the fourth quarter when the outcome of the game was well past the point of being in doubt.
For Tulsa, Riquna Williams had a game-high 27 points to go with Skylar Diggins’ 20, but Tulsa struggled to defend the Mercury off the dribble or cut and allowed 33 points off of their 19 turnovers.