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Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi are an unstoppable duo for Phoenix Mercury and for united states of america Basketball

Sep 26, 2018

Mechelle VoepelespnWm

CloseMechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, girls’s college basketball, and other school sports for espnW. Voepel all started protecting ladies’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.


  • Brittney Griner going to Phoenix because the No. 1 decide upon in 2013 meant pairing up with safeguard Diana Taurasi — who became the ultimate combo of.”i may deal with you” and.”i may push you to do extra” for a rookie wanting veteran suggestions.

    right here we’re five years — and 6 WNBA seasons — later, and the duo who’ve meant so a great deal to the Mercury are attempting to retract another championship with us of a Basketball. Tuesday, they helped the americans cruise past Latvia 102-seventy six to finish 3-0 in community D play on the FIBA ladies’s Basketball World Championship.

    For several years, team u . s . a .’s video games have been like episodes of television procedural dramas: You comprehend it could be wrapped up via the end, you just tune in to peer how it gets there. within the americans’ three victories in Tenerife this week, the offensive post play has been dominant, the protection a little bit much less so.

    but Tuesday become Griner’s first game at this World Cup, as she ignored the first two contests with an ankle harm. and he or she helped in all areas.

  • Brittney Griner scored 15 facets in her first game of the FIBA women’s Basketball World Cup to guide the U.S. to a 102-seventy six victory over Latvia on Tuesday evening.
  • Tina Charles scored 16 features for group usa, Kia Nurse had 29 for Canada and Rebecca Allen changed into in every single place the container rating for Australia.
  • Elena Delle Donne, Nneka Ogwumike, Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson mixed for sixty four elements, almost outscoring Senegal by means of themselves.
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    Griner’s return turned into one other safety blanket for a group that already has a cartload of them. however that doesn’t mean she’s now not appreciated, as a result of at 6-foot-9, she’s a extremely massive blanket. As united states teammate Tina Charles noted, “It simply offers us that boost of confidence going into video games.”

    With ahead Elene Delle Donne and shelter Sue chook sitting out the online game to restimprove, Griner 15 features, 6 rebounds, Taurasi sixteen points and Charles 18 facets took over. Seven americans scored in double figures, and that they outrebounded the Latvians fifty six-39.

    instruct break of day Staley talked about the U.S. squad became considering that preserving Griner on the bench for this game, too, and then having her ready to go for Friday’s quarterfinals, when the U.S. will face the winner of Wednesday’s Greece-Nigeria video game.

    but Griner, who turns 28 subsequent month, insisted she turned into able to play Tuesday, after which confirmed that on the court docket. Latvia is an attack-minded crew, however Griner introduced one other major obstacle. Of the Latvians’ 79 photographs, 40 have been 3-pointers, and they made 12 of them.

    The americans additionally took seventy nine pictures, 18 from lengthy latitude. With the indoors play of the USA, there is rarely that much should overthink the game plan.

    Taurasi and Griner have gained only one WNBA title collectively in Phoenix, in 2014. however when you accept as true with how decent the league has been the remaining several years, even one championship is excellent.

    still, this previous season will sting somewhat. The Mercury lost ahead Sancho Lyttle to a knee harm at the conclusion of June, and that turned into one of the crucial things that saved their normal season — and playoff place — from being as good because it could have been.

    Then within the postseason, Phoenix needed to face eventual champion Seattle in the semifinals, an exhilarating 5-game collection that — no offense to Delle Donne’s Washington Mystics — felt like the de facto finals. Had Seattle’s hen not gone all memoir on the Mercury within the fourth quarter of game 5, Phoenix probably would have prevailed and would have confronted the Mystics.


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