Mercury set WNBA record with 45-point first quarter against Sun

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Phoenix Mercury set WNBA record with 45-point first quarter against Connecticut Sun

The Phoenix Mercury (9-20) set a new WNBA record Thursday night, scoring 45 points in the first quarter of their 90-84 win over the Connecticut Sun (21-8). Phoenix missed only one field goal attempt (16-of-17), and the Mercury’s 94.1% field goal shooting was the highest in any quarter (minimum of 15 attempts).

Phoenix star Brittney Griner recorded team highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes of action. On July 23, the New York Liberty set the previous record of 44 points in the first quarter of their 101-83 victory over the Indiana Fever.

Although the Mercury built a 21-point lead at home, they scored only seven points in the second quarter and led just 52-48 at halftime. The 38-point difference was the largest drop-off in points from one quarter to the next in WNBA history, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

DeWanna Bonner, Connecticut’s leading scorer, exited the game due to a back injury early in the first quarter and did not return. Rebecca Allen scored a season-high 24 points, and Alyssa Thomas logged 20 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Tiffany Hayes finished with 15 points as well.

Phoenix Mercury sets WNBA record with 45 points in the first quarter against Connecticut Sun in Thursday night’s 90-84 win

Meanwhile, Mercury’s Moriah Jefferson scored 17 points, and Diana Taurasi added 16 points and knocked down four 3-pointers for Phoenix. Sophie Cunningham, who posted nine points on three 3-pointers, reached 1,000 career points.

During the fourth quarter, Hayes drained a 3-pointer to bolster Connecticut within one point, trailing 82-81. However, Jefferson responded with a mid-range jumper. Following a missed shot by the Sun, Griner hit a baseline jumper to give Phoenix a five-point lead.

After a missed shot by the Mercury, Allen scored on a fast-break layup to cut Connecticut’s deficit to 86-84 with 30.1 seconds left. Though, Jefferson scored in the paint with 19.3 seconds left to give Phoenix a four-point lead. Connecticut would turn it over on the inbounds play. In the end, Jefferson sealed the win with two free throws.

The Mercury’s 45-point record is safe for the time being. Of course, this is not the first time Phoenix has made WNBA history. On July 24, 2010, the Mercury won 127-124 in double-overtime against the Minnesota Lynx, making it the highest-scoring WNBA game in league history.

On July 8, 2007, the Detroit Shock scored a WNBA record 72 second-half points over Phoenix. During the third quarter, Detroit scored a then-WNBA record 40 points. The Shock went on to win 111-82 at the Palace of Auburn Hills, which closed in October 2017.

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