Mercury hold off Fever’s late rally, win 9th straight, 86-81

Brittney Griner had 21 points and 10 rebounds and the Phoenix Mercury held off the Indiana Fever 86-81 for their ninth straight victory

INDIANAPOLIS — Brittney Griner had 21 points and 10 rebounds and the Phoenix Mercury held off the Indiana Fever 86-81 on Monday night for their ninth straight victory.

Indiana (6-21) used a 21-7 run that included a Kelsey Mitchell 3-pointer to pull to 84-81 with 47.9 seconds to play. But she missed a potential-tying 3 with 24.8 remaining, and Brianna Turner’s layup then sealed it for Phoenix (18-10).

The Mercury’s current win streak is the franchise’s second longest.

Griner was 9-of-14 shooting from the floor and collected her 14th 20-point game this season. It was also her 14th double-double of the season. Kia Nurse made 7 of 9 shots, and all three of her 3-pointers in the third quarter. She finished with 19 points, including 13 in the third quarter. Diana Taurasi added 11 points and seven assists. Turner finished with eight points.

Phoenix outscored Indiana 24-10 in the third quarter that included a 17-0 run. The Fever missed its first seven shots before Victoria Vivians hit a 3-pointer to make it 60-45 with 3:34 left.

Mitchell scored 23 points to lead the Fever. Lindsay Allen added a career-high 15 points with seven assists. Teaira McCowan had 13 points and 16 rebounds. Vivians added 13 points.

The Fever opened with an 11-2 run, but the Mercury pulled to 22-18 at the end the first quarter and then tied it at 24 early in the second. Griner’s layup with 16.7 seconds left in the half gave the Mercury a 43-42 lead at the break.

The Mercury had a 36-9 third quarter and beat the Fever 87-65 on Saturday night.

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