WNBA: Mercury beat Wings in 1st game without former MVP Tina Charles

Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 26 points and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Dallas Wings 83-72 on Saturday in the team’s first game without Tina Charles. Diana Taurasi added 18 and Diamond DeShields registered 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Mercury (7-12).

The Mercury announced earlier Saturday that they parted ways with former MVP Tina Charles after just 18 games. Charles, the 2021 WNBA scoring champion, signed a one-year deal with Phoenix in February.

The Mercury played the whole season without star Brittney Griner who is being detained in Russia on drug charges. Arike Ogunbowale led Dallas (9-10) with 25 points. Isabelle Harrison had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

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Nneka Ogwumike scored 24 points and the Los Angeles Sparks outplayed their opponent in the fourth quarter to beat the Seattle Storm 85-77. Ogwumike shot 12 of 18 from the floor for the Sparks (7-10). The Sparks finished the game with four players on double-digits.

Katie Lou Samuelson added 17 points for the Sparks, who outscored Seattle 17-9 in the final period. Brittney followed with 15 points and eight rebounds. Breanna Stewart’s amazing performance was not enough for Seattle.

Stewart had 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks to pace the Seattle Storm (11-7). Ezi Magbegor scored 16 and blocked three shots before fouling out. Gabby Williams added 11.

Alysha Clark scored 20 points, Elena Delle Donne added 19 and Washington Mystics slipped past the Las Vegas Aces with an 87-86 victory. Natasha Cloud sank three free throws in the final 11.7 seconds of overtime to help Washington beat the top-seeded Aces.

Clark hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for Washington (12-9). Delle Donne registered her first double-double of the season having 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young both scored 20 to pace Las Vegas (13-4), which had consecutive losses for the first time this season. A’ja Wilson finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.

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