August 01, 2014

The Phoenix Mercury haven't had a boring July.

Star players Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner were ejected for arguing with the officials in the third quarter during a loss to New York on July 1.

Griner then posted the sixth triple-double in WNBA history two nights later in a win at Atlanta, going for 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks.

And, in Tuesday's loss to Dallas, the Mercury allowed Wings forward Glory Johnson to put up the league's only 20-20 game this season -- 23 points, 22 rebounds.

What's going to happen next?

On Friday night, Phoenix (8-11) plays host to Indiana (7-11), which is coming off an interesting game of its own.

The Fever, down 20 points with 6:22 to go at league-leading Los Angeles, rallied within a point with 12.2 seconds left before losing 94-88.

Indiana won the first meeting of the season against the Mercury, 97-93 at home on May 18. Emblematic of Phoenix's slow start and defensive woes, the Fever placed seven players in double-figure scoring.

The Mercury have rebounded somewhat to more resemble the powerhouse team it was expected to be, going 6-5 after a 2-6 start. Some roster reconstruction has included the addition of backup center Kelsey Bone via trade and the signing of backup point guard Lindsey Harding, who is averaging 2.8 assists and 5.2 points in 20.5 minutes per game.

"I thought she would be a great fit for us," said Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello. "She creates the speed that we need. We needed to get a bit more athletic."

Taurasi leads Phoenix with an average of 19.2 points per game while forward DeWanna Bonner is averaging 14.9 points. Griner averages 14.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks. Guard Penny Taylor (13.3 ppg) has missed the past four games because of a hip contusion.

Phoenix leads the WNBA in scoring at 87.7 points per game but allows a league-high 88.0.

Indiana has a trio of double-digit scorers -- forward Tamika Catchings (13.7), guard Tiffany Mitchell (11.7) and guard Briann January (10.1).

Phoenix is 7-2 against Eastern Conference opponents.

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