New York Liberty center Tina Charles put up impressive numbers against the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday, but she didn’t get enough help from her teammates for her team to make up the gap between the two teams.
NEW YORK CITY– First things first: the Phoenix Mercury are simply a better team than the New York Liberty.
In their meeting at the Garden on Tuesday, the Mercury proved it over the 40 minute duration. First a look at the numbers.
The Phoenix offensive efficiency was a Liberty defensive deficiency. New York did force the visitors into a high turnover rate. The Mercury more than compensated shooting an eFG percentage of 58% – once again, failure to close out on the perimeter shooters was New York’s undoing. The Mercury shot 9-for-18 (50%) from beyond the arc.
On their end, the Liberty struggled offensively. Their perimeter game resulted in misfiring to the tune of 1 of 7 (14%) fro three point range.
Individually, Tina Charles of the Liberty put up impressive numbers. But she received little help. Phoenix, on the other hand, was admirably balanced.
T. Charles, NY
C. Dupree, Phoe.
B. Griner, Phoe.
D. Taurasi, Phoe.
Charles was solid adding a game high 12 rebounds plus three steals to her leading point production. Yet she could not match the Phoenix trio. Led by Candace Dupree with 18 points ,10 rebounds and 4 assists, Britney Griner shot 7-for-12 from the floor, pulled down 11 boards and blocked 3 shots. Diana Taurasi had a low efficiency but in this case the numbers lied. The Mercury star shot 3-for-6 from long range. She did add 4 assists, which were offset by an efficiency lowering 5 turnovers. Again, her presence was felt a lot more than the efficiency of 6 implies.
The Mercury improved to 27-4 clinching top spot in the West. In the process they even gained the admiration of Liberty faithful for their overall clinic-like expertise. The Liberty fell to 13-18 dropping their second straight.