Storm look for redemption vs. Mercury


After losing to the Phoenix Mercury 87-82 after a furious comeback in their season opener at home Sunday, the Seattle Storm will look for redemption Wednesday night at Phoenix's Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Breanna Stewart led the Storm with 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Natasha Howard contributed 14 points in 22 minutes off the bench. Stewart came two shy of tying her career high of 17 achieved on June 5, 2016, vs. New York.

Perennial MVP candidate Brittney Griner ended with 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Mercury, who improved to 2-0.

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"BG can play away from the basket and shoot and play off the dribble, very good back to the basket," Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello of Griner, who was coming off a 13-point, seven-rebound performance against Dallas center Liz Camage in the Mercury's season-opener May 18.

"Everyone has got a big five (center) now. The NBA has opened up more, whereas in the WNBA, we still have that big five we all want to play through."

Phoenix led by as many as 14 points in the first half against Seattle on Sunday, and the Mercury were up 80-72 with less than two minutes remaining in the game, before Seattle rallied to cut the lead to 83-82 with 11.5 seconds left.

Dianna Taurasi nailed a couple of free throws with 9.8 seconds left and then a turnover by Stewart resulted in two more free throws for the Mercury, giving Phoenix the win.

Briann January added 15 points and six assists for Phoenix, which also received 12 points from Taurasi and Bonner.

"For us, we're still getting comfortable and developing our identity as a team," said Seattle guard Sue Bird, who moved past Becky Hammon to No. 8 all-time on the WNBA's scoring list, finishing the game with 10 points and now has 5,850 for her career.

"The thing that we're going to hang our hat on as a team is still in the works. So for us to battle back and to make it a game where we had a chance that says a lot about our resilience.

"We're going to be in a lot of tough games. ... To win these games, it's understanding what we want to do, when we want to do it and why we're doing it. When you have a new system and new players, it can take some time. There's nothing wrong with that. Obviously, we want to speed that up as quickly as possible."

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