BRADENTON, Fla. — Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 13 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter, Diana Taurasi had 23 points and 12 rebounds and the Phoenix Mercury held off the Minnesota Lynx 83-79 on Sunday night for their third victory in a row.
Diggins-Smith made all of her 11 free-throw attempts, including four in the final 13 seconds. Brianna Turner scored 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked four shots for Phoenix (9-7). The second-year forward continued her strong play in the absence of All-Star centre Brittney Griner — who left the bubble for personal reasons last week. Turner is averaging 13 rebounds and 3.7 blocks over the last three games.
Taurasi hit 3-pointers 32 seconds apart to make it 6-5 and the Mercury led the rest of the way. She made another 3 to give Phoenix a 68-53 lead early in the fourth quarter but the Lynx answered with a 12-2 run to trim their deficit to 70-65 with 6:18 to play. Odyssey Sims made two free throws to cap an 8-0 spurt and make it a three-point game with 1:27 left but Diggins-Smith scored six points in the final minute to seal it.
Crystal Dangerfield scored 15 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter for Minnesota (10-5). Napheesa Collier finished with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.