Phoenix coach Corey Gaines said he likes it when opponents try to run with the Mercury, because he thinks they’ll wear them out. In four of their five wins, the Mercury entered the final period with point differentials between -2 and +4. They won those periods 84-57.
In the game that wasn’t close, the Mercury extended a 10-point lead to start the 4th to 24.
In three losses, Phoenix lost the fourth quarter by 6, 6, and 8.
Washington, leading the East, hasn’t had a 4-1 start since 2006. The Mystics are 2-0 at home with two different stories in the fourth quarter: Let a 16-point lead dwindle to 6 at the buzzer, and complete a huge second-half comeback to win by 9. In other words, the Mystics succeeded in holding off one rally while finishing their own.
Washington has kept a lid on things at home, making totals of 148 and 153, resulting in one over and one under.
Phoenix won two of the last three meetings at the Verizon Center. The Mercury poured in 98 and 96 in the wins, 69 in the loss, whereas the Mystics scored 90, 86, 83. In the 2008 contest, Taurasi and Pondexter combined for 59.