The Phoenix Mercury defeated the Tulsa Shock on the road, 108-103 in overtime, led by guard Diana Taurasi who had 8 points in the extra period and had a near triple double with 29 points, 9 assists, and 9 rebounds. In additions, DeWanna Bonner and Candice Dupree added a combined 43 points. The win gets the Mercury back up to .500 with a 3-3 record.
For the Shock, this ends up being another one of these losses, but there was some promising things as well. Glory Johnson continued to assert herself as one of the most improved players of the season by scoring a career high 32 points and grabbing 15 rebounds, 12 of them on the offensive end. Riquna Williams scored 28 points off the bench and had 6 three pointers. And Skylar Diggins broke out of a virtually season long slump where she scored 22 points on 7 of 15 shooting and dished 8 assists.
Hate to change on where I think teams will end up this season this early, but with a 1-7 record now, I just don’t see the Shock being a realistic fit at the 4th spot where I pegged them earlier in the preseason. A lot of the projections were based heavily on Skylar Diggins’ ability to get the team to play at a higher level than they did a year ago and to date, we really haven’t seen this materialize.
At some point saying that a loss isn’t just a loss the win and loss column gets kind of old. I can go either way on whether the Shock is past that point. On one hand, the Shock can use another key piece via the draft in 2014. But on the other hand, the Shock needs to show some tangible signs that things are changing since relocation, and that hasn’t happened yet though I still think this team is on the right track all things considered.
The Mercury heads back for two games at home against Minnesota and DC before a three game road trip which includes another match in DC. The Shock plays two more games at home against Chicago and Seattle before a four game road trip that heads out east after a road game vs. the Lynx.