Griner scores 31, hits 2 late FTs, as Mercury beat Dream
PHOENIX (AP) — Brittney Griner scored a season-high 31 points, including two free throws with 3.1 seconds left, to help the Phoenix Mercury beat the Atlanta Dream 65-63 on Sunday.
Griner was 11-of-15 shooting and finished with 12 rebounds and three blocks. Leilani Mitchell added 13 points and DeWanna Bonner had 11 points and a season-high 14 rebounds for Phoenix (6-6).
Atlanta’s Brittney Sykes hit two free throws, Tiffany Hayes and Renee Montgomery made back-to-back 3-pointers and Elizabeth Williams made a layup to cap a 10-0 run that made it 63-all with 16.7 seconds remaining. After Griner’s foul shots, Bonner stole a pass from Sykes to seal it.
Sykes led the Dream (3-10) with 29 points and 10 rebounds, both season highs. They have lost five of their last six.
Mitchell sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around two free throws by Essence Carson in an 8-0 run that gave Phoenix a 55-50 lead early in the fourth quarter and the Mercury never again trailed. Atlanta twice pulled within three before Griner converted a 3-point play and, after Montgomery missed on the other end, added an offensive rebound and a putback before hitting Sancho Lyttle for a layup that gave the Mercury a 63-53 lead with five minutes to play.
Phoenix has won four of its last five.