Some of the WNBA’s biggest names were thrown off the court in Phoenix on Saturday night as a near-brawl broke out between the Mercury and Dallas Wings.
Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Briann January, Kristine Anigwe, Kayla Thornton and Kaela Davis were all sent back to their locker rooms at Talking Stick Resort Arena after punches were thrown midway through the fourth quarter.
The conflict began with some physical play in the paint by Anigwe on Griner with the Dallas rookie getting in a few shots on the six-time All-Star. That pushed Griner over the edge and the retaliation escalated quickly.
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Griner had to be held back by multiple people on the court after chasing down Anigwe. Taurasi, who was inactive for the game with an injury, immediately jumped off the bench to aid Griner.
“Today I went on the court to make sure my teammate didn’t get jumped,” Taurasi told the Arizona Republic after the game. “(Griner) got punched in the face and then someone ran on her back and threw punches at her face. I would do that 100 times out of 100 times.”
Griner did not speak to the media after the game.
It hasn’t been a great season for either the Phoenix Mercury or Dallas Wings so far, with both teams under .500 and looking to climb back into contention. The game on Saturday was only Anigwe’s second with the Wings. Dallas acquired the forward last week from the Connecticut Sun for Theresa Plaisance.
The Wings went on to defeat the Mercury 80-77.
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