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New York Liberty vs. Phoenix Mercury Pick & Prediction AUGUST 6th 2022

WNBA | BASKETBALL
TV:
Logo New York Liberty
VS
Logo Phoenix Mercury
0
OPENNER
163.5

162.5o -110
CURRENT

-210
MONEYLINE
+175

62
SCORE
76

The New York Liberty and the Phoenix Mercury are headed in different directions as the push to the WNBA playoffs nears its end.

The Liberty have won three in a row as they prepare to visit the Mercury, who have lost three in row, on Saturday night.

New York (13-18) has moved into seventh place, but still has work to do. Phoenix (13-19) is in ninth place, but is still in position to grab one of the final playoffs spots.

The Liberty overcame a 20-point second-quarter deficit to defeat the visiting Los Angeles Sparks 64-61 on Wednesday night. Sabrina Ionescu scored eight of her 20 points in the final 2:18 as New York swept back-to-back games from Los Angeles.

"It's really hard to beat a team on a back-to-back," Ionescu said. "We were able to get two wins, which is big for this franchise into this playoff push."

The Liberty, whose winning streak began with an 89-69 victory against Phoenix on Sunday, have won four of their last five games.

The Mercury have struggled all season without star center Brittney Griner, who remains imprisoned in Russia after being arrested for alleged drug trafficking. Her teammates lost to host Connecticut Sun 77-64 on Thursday, just hours after they learned that Griner had been convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison.

"This is a human being and our real-life friend and real-life sister," Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith said. "I don't expect everybody to give a damn. But we really do.

"And we come out here and we're still supposed to play this (expletive) game. Nobody wanted to even play today. How are you supposed to approach the game with a clear mind, and the whole group is crying before the game? Because you try to honor her and you try to come out and still play hard for her."

Phoenix played Thursday without guard Diana Taurasi (quad injury).

--Field Level Media
PREDICTION
New York Liberty
82
76
Phoenix Mercury

New York Liberty vs. Phoenix Mercury

Skylar Diggins-Smith scored a game-high 30 points, leading the Phoenix Mercury to their sixth straight win, an 83-67 victory over the New York Liberty on Saturday night in Bradenton, Fla.

Mercury star Diana Taurasi, who entered the game third in the league in scoring (19.7), was held to nine points in 22 minutes. A nine-time All-Star and two-time WNBA Finals MVP, Taurasi shot 3-for-10 from the floor.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 15 points for the Mercury.

New York was led by Joyner Holmes, one of seven rookies on the roster. She had 13 points and 13 rebounds for her first double-double. Layshia Clarendon added 12 points, Kia Nurse had 11 points, and Jazmine Jones scored 10 for New York.

Phoenix (12-7) has the longest active win streak in the WNBA. The Mercury clinched a playoff berth on Thursday and have three games remaining in their regular season.

New York (2-16) has the league's worst record, and the Liberty -- who have four games left in their regular season -- are close to securing the first pick in the draft for the second straight year. In fact, two more losses will do the trick.

Phoenix raced to a 12-3 lead and was on top 23-19 at the end of the first quarter, thanks in part to 14 points by Diggins-Smith, who went 4-for-4 on 3-pointers and 3-for-4 on free throws.

The Liberty took their first lead of the game, 25-23, on Jones' layup with 8:41 left in the second quarter. But the Mercury surged back on top and led 45-38 at halftime.

Phoenix led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter and cruised from there.

The game was missing some firepower.

Phoenix was without 6-foot-8 center Brittney Griner, a two-time WNBA scoring champ who left the bubble prior to the Mercury's Aug. 21 game due to personal reasons. In addition, Mercury guard Bria Hartley, who is third on the team with a 14.6 scoring average, sat out due to a knee injury.

For the Liberty, rookies Kylee Shook and Sabrina Ionescu are out due to sprained left ankles. Ionescu, the first overall pick in this year's draft, put up 33 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in her second game but was injured during her next performance and is likely gone for the year.

--Field Level Media
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