It was another contest involving the “3 to See” in 2013 and Tuesday’s battle went to the Phoenix Mercury and Brittney Griner, 89-86, over the Tulsa Shock and Skylar Diggins.
And although both rookies played their parts in the game, the story might best describe the play of the Mercury’s Diana Taurasi and Candace Dupree against the Shock’s Liz Cambage and Riquna Williams.
The win puts Phoenix (14-12) into third place in the Western Conference. Tulsa falls to 8-18.
Taurasi led all scorers with 28 points and was one of four players in the game with a double-double. She dished out 10 assists accounted for a significant portion of the Mercury scoring.
Dupree’s double-double came via 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Cambage had 23 points for the Shock to go with 13 boards. Williams came off the bench to put in 21 for Tulsa.
The game went back and forth through the first half. Phoenix took a six-point lead at the end of the first quarter. But an 8-0 run by the Shock gave Tulsa a 27-25 advantage early in the second period.
Tulsa led by three at the intermission. Then Phoenix took over the game.
The Mercury built up their lead to as high as 13 points midway through the fourth, though the Shock made it interesting at the end.
Tulsa got to within two points on a Williams three-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining, but couldn’t entirely close the gap.
“We felt like we had a chance and that we were in the game at the end,” Williams said.
“We had a really bad third quarter, which kind of haunted us when we came back for the fourth. Overall, we played well and stuck together.”
Tulsa hosts San Antonio on Friday at 7 p.m.