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HomeSportsBasketballMercury to play host to versatile Storm team that is rolling

Mercury to play host to versatile Storm team that is rolling

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The Seattle Storm have shown off their variety of weapons while rolling to eight victories in their last nine games.

They’ll try to continue their hot streak when they visit the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday afternoon.

The Storm’s bench had a significant role in the team’s most recent victory, a 92-84 road triumph against the Dallas Wings on Thursday night. Seattle (9-4) used just three reserves, but Jordan Horston, Sami Whitcomb and Mercedes Russell outscored their four Dallas counterparts 22-13 and added six rebounds and seven assists.

“We really experienced some major minutes from our bench,” said starting forward Nneka Ogwumike, who had 17 points and six rebounds. “We can even go deeper. (Against the Wings) we saw another building block from our bench.”

The Storm took a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter and Horston made three consecutive shots and assisted on Whitcomb’s 3-pointer to help push the lead to 13.

“Just like our starters have a job to start the game a certain way, our bench players and our role players do as well,” Seattle coach Noelle Quinn said. “If they lock into that all the time, we’re even better because they’re excellent players and they have a lot to give.”

The four Storm starters that average double figures in scoring had their usual impact as Ogwumike’s output was supplemented by Skylar Diggins-Smith’s 21 points, Jewell Loyd’s 19 points and Ezi Magbegor’s 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Mercury (6-7) are coming off a 103-99 home loss to the Las Vegas Aces on Thursday night. Phoenix led by 16 points at the end of the first quarter and stayed with the defending champions the whole way.

“I don’t think we’re far away,” Mercury coach Nate Tibbetts said. “I love where we’re headed. I don’t think we’re that far away and that’s a good team (we played).”

Brittney Griner led five Phoenix double-figure scorers with 25 points and added nine rebounds, Diana Taurasi scored 22 points and Kahleah Copper added 18 before fouling out in the final minute.

“For us to get to where we want to go, we have to have multiple people be productive,” Taurasi said. “It’s frustrating because we had such a great start and let it get away, but throughout all the chaos we found a way to stay in it and we’ll be better for it in the long run.”

–Field Level Media

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