Wings, Mercury seek to end losing streaks

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Dallas Wings coach Vickie Johnson is looking for her team to play a complete game when it hosts the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday night.

“We are playing a lot of the players a lot of minutes, but they have to push through,” Johnson said. “This league is not going to stop. Everyone is playing a lot of minutes and a lot of games back-to-back. We have to dig deep within and finish the job.”

Coming off a 101-95 road loss to the Atlanta Dream on Thursday, Dallas (1-3) is looking to snap a three-game losing streak.

Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey scored 24 points apiece against Atlanta, the third consecutive game the two have collected at least 20.

Phoenix (2-3) has dropped its past two games.

The Mercury lost 85-79 to visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday after a 75-71 lead was washed out by the Aces’ 14-4 run over the final 4:09.

It was the Mercury’s first game without Diana Taurasi, and they still nearly won behind double-doubles from Brittney Griner (27 points and 11 rebounds) and Skylar Diggins-Smith (16 points and 11 assists).

Taurasi is out at least four weeks with a fractured sternum.

“It’s one of those things,” Griner said of the Mercury having to play without one of the league’s biggest stars. “But it could be worse. (She) could be out for the whole season. I’m just glad it’s not too major. Everybody just has to bring it a little bit more. If everyone brings an extra 10 percent, we are good.”

Dallas is looking for that little extra as well in a Western Conference matchup that will count as a Commissioner’s Cup game. Both teams are 1-1.

The Wings hope Finland native Awak Kuier, the second overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft, can help their cause after making her league debut against Atlanta.

“I loved it,” she said. “This is my dream. It was great being out there.”

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