Despite further energy from DiDi Richards, the New York Liberty couldn’t overcome a garish first quarter on Wednesday night against Phoenix.
Crystal Robinson is the 7th player to be inducted into the @nyliberty Ring of Honor
— WNBA (@WNBA) August 26, 2021
On a night where the New York Liberty honored one of the most accomplished sharpshooters in franchise history, their visitors came ready for the occasion.
Three members of the Phoenix Mercury cross the 20-point plateau (paced by 27 from Skylar Diggins-Smith) while Brianna Turner (10 points, 12 rebounds) earned her third double-double over the last four games. Their antics paced a 35-19 first quarter advantage, which was enough to power the Mercury to a 106-79 victory over the Liberty on Wednesday night at Barclays Center. Their visit coincided with the Liberty’s induction of Crystal Robinson, the franchise’s all-time leader in three-pointers (400), into their Ring of Honor.
Phoenix (14-10) has now won five in a row to move into fifth place on the WNBA playoff bracket. The Liberty (11-15) have dropped four of their first five in the post-Olympic slate. A chance for redemption awaits on Friday night in a rematch with the Mercury (8 p.m. ET, CBSSN).
Brittney Griner had 26 points for the Mercury but left the game with a late injury that required assistance from trainers to leave the floor. Wednesday also marked a homecoming showcase for Kia Nurse, the Liberty first-round pick from 2018. Nurse earned six points after being dealt from New York to the desert in the multi-team deal that brought Natasha Howard and Sami Whitcomb to Brooklyn.
ESM has three silver linings from this latest defeat.
3rd Star: Bec Allen
12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
2nd Star: Betnijah Laney
20 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists
.@Deauzya providing a spark off the bench ✨
📺 NBA TV pic.twitter.com/suUcCO2Wiz
— WNBA (@WNBA) August 25, 2021
1st Star: DiDi Richards
14 points, 3 rebounds
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags