Phoenix – Rookies Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray got the Dallas Wings’ season off to a good start Sunday, as they led the way past the Phoenix Mercury, 68-58.
Davis led all scorers with 20 points coming off of the bench, while Gray added 11 points. Theresa Plaisance scored 10 points and Glory Johnson nine, with 14 rebounds. Dallas out-rebounded Phoenix 41-17, and did not allow any offensive rebounds.
Brittney Griner headed up the efforts for the Mercury, with 18 points. Camille Little scored 11.
The visitors quelled the early Phoenix offensive attack by ending the first quarter on a 14-6 run. But they didn’t have an answer for Griner, who scored 13 of her points in the first half. The Wings went into the locker room at halftime down by two, 34-36.
Neither team was able to get into a good offensive flow, but Dallas was able to get second and third-chance opportunities. They also had active hands on defense and were able to consistently disrupt Phoenix’s offensive flow.
Wings point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith struggled offensively with just seven points, but she was active on defense. Veteran Mercury forward Diana Taurasi is on pace to become the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer by season’s end, but she notched only three points in 30 minutes of play against Dallas. Both teams appeared to have first game jitters, firing several miscues a piece. But the Wings were able to persevere for the road win.
Dallas has won four of the last five match ups against Phoenix, who have ten new players on their roster this season. The focus in training camp for the Wings was defense and rebounding, and it showed against the Mercury, whom they forced into 14 turnovers while limiting their second-chance opportunities.
The game was the first of 20 that will be streamed live on Twitter this season. The next will feature Phoenix again, as they head to Texas to play San Antonio in their home opener. The Wings will host the Minnesota Lynx in their home opener May 19.