Mercury-Shock Preview

The Associated Press

Despite rookie star Brittney Griner being hobbled, the Phoenix Mercury have bounced back from their rough start behind solid performances from their veterans.

First-year guard Skylar Diggins is having trouble finding her touch with the struggling Tulsa Shock.

Visiting Phoenix looks to win a third straight contest while dealing Tulsa its third consecutive defeat Sunday.

Griner, the center taken No. 1 overall in this year's draft, missed an 82-67 victory over Indiana on June 8 and had her minutes limited during Friday's 97-81 win over Los Angeles due to a sprained knee.

Diana Taurasi helped picked up the slack in each contest. She scored 26 points against the Fever as the Mercury (2-3) ended a three-game losing streak before hitting five 3-pointers in a 34-point effort versus the Sparks.

Fifth-year wing DeWanna Bonner also had back-to-back solid games, scoring 24 points and adding 11 boards against Indiana before recording 23 and 12 on Friday.

''It's not rocket science, it's not brain surgery, it's not making borscht, it's just basketball,'' said Taurasi, who added seven assists and six rebounds Friday. ''We've had a lot of people play well.''

Taurasi has averaged 27.0 points over her last three to increase her league-best scoring average to 21.8.

"Diana leads the way and we follow," said forward Charde Houston, who scored 15 points Friday. "When she plays like that, it lifts everyone up."

The Mercury have increased the tempo lately with Griner, who hit all five of her shots for 10 points while adding four blocks in 15 minutes, nursing her injury.

''We're going to go back and do what we do best and that's organized chaos,'' coach Corey Gaines said. ''That's all that is. (Taurasi is) on another level right now."

Diggins, the No. 3 overall pick this year, is trying to raise her level of play as the Shock (1-6) continue to struggle. She's shooting 27.0 percent on the season and has scored 13 points while hitting four of 17 shots over her last two games.

Tulsa fell 83-74 to Minnesota on Friday despite 22 points and nine rebounds from Glory Johnson and 18 points from Candace Wiggins. Diggins missed her first five field-goal attempts before hitting a bucket with 3:47 remaining.

The Shock and Mercury split four meetings last season. Taurasi played less than 10 minutes in the first matchup and missed the final three while dealing with a strained left hip flexor.

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