Basketball

Griner's dunk highlights Mercury's blowout win over Liberty

Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 27 points, Brittney Griner added 26, including her third dunk of the season, and Phoenix beat the New York Liberty 106-79 on Wednesday night for the Mercury's fifth straight victory.

Phoenix scored 100 or more points in a game for the 1st time this season

Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury drives to the basket as Natasha Howard #6 of the New York Liberty defends during the second half at Barclays Center on Wednesday. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 27 points, Brittney Griner added 26, including her third dunk of the season, and Phoenix beat the New York Liberty 106-79 on Wednesday night for the Mercury's fifth straight victory.

Griner also had nine rebounds and six assists before getting helped off the court with 1:38 left in the fourth with a left ankle injury.

Diana Taurasi added 21 points with five 3-pointers for Phoenix (14-10), which made 12 of 25 from distance. Brianna Turner had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Griner dunked for the 15th time in her regular-season career — and the rest of the WNBA has combined for just three in 25 seasons.

The Mercury dominated the first quarter, building a 35-19 lead behind 12 points from Diggins-Smith and 70.9 per cent shooting. Phoenix led 55-42 at the break with 40 combined points from Diggins-Smith, Griner and Taurasi.

WATCH | Brittney Griner throws down 3rd dunk of season in Mercury's blowout win over Liberty:

Brittney Griner throws down dunk in Mercury's blowout win over Liberty

3 months ago
0:37
Brittney Griner added 26, including her third dunk of the season as the Phoenix Mercury dominated the New York Liberty 106-79. 0:37

Taurasi and Diggins-Smith each made a 3-pointer on consecutive Phoenix possessions to extend the lead to 71-49 early in the third. New York cut its deficit to 10 points in the fourth, but the Mercury closed on a 17-0 run. It was the first time this season that the Mercury had scored 100 or more in a game.

Betnijah Laney led New York (11-15) with 20 points. Rookie DiDi Richards scored a season-high 14 and Sabrina Ionescu added 10 points and seven assists. The Liberty made three 3-pointers in the first quarter to set a franchise record for makes in a season.

New York was missing Sami Whitcomb, the league's leading 3-point shooter, who is out for two weeks due to an ankle injury.

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