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Mercury take five-game win streak into Dallas

Sports Xchange - Tuesday 12th June, 2018

The Phoenix Mercury will ride a five-game winning streak, their longest since 2015, when they travel to face a confident Dallas Wings team on Tuesday.

Dallas (4-3) has won three of its last four games, including an impressive 94-90 home win over the Seattle Storm on June 2. Seattle had a five-game winning streak heading into that game, similar to Phoenix.

The game is a rematch between Phoenix (7-3) and Dallas from the season-opener on May 18 in Phoenix, won by the Mercury 86-78. The Mercury must guard against looking ahead to an anticipated matchup with the WNBA's top team, the Connecticut Sun (7-1), on Saturday in Phoenix.

The Phoenix-Dallas matchup also features Round 2 of a matchup of top post players -- Brittney Griner of Phoenix and Liz Cambage of Dallas.

Cambage, a top international player from Australia returning to the WNBA after four seasons away, made six of her first nine shots for 14 first-half points and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in the first game. Griner battled through foul trouble to finish with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Griner is coming off a near triple-double in Phoenix's 72-66 win over the visiting Las Vegas Aces on Sunday. She finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Her 15 rebounds are the most for her since September 2016.

"Blocks keep them from scoring and give us another possession," Griner said. "I've gotten better at trying to keep it in play and block it without hitting them with my body. Jump away but still get the block. Because blocking, then getting a foul, that's the worst.

As for her 15 rebounds, Griner said she told Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello, "Don't get used to it."

"It's a conscious effort I have to make to go try to get a board, but tonight they were just falling in my hands," Griner said. "Just the luck of the fall, I'll take them, though."

Cambage is coming off a game in which she had 23 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in Dallas' 89-83 road win against the Indiana Fever last Friday.

Cambage's Australian National Team teammate Cayla George, formerly of the Mercury, signed with Dallas a week ago.

"Cayla brings a versatile game to our roster, with the ability to play multiple positions on the floor," Wings President CEO Greg Bibb said of the 6-foot-4 player. "She is an outstanding rebounder and a player who has the ability to extend her shooting range well outside the paint. We are excited to add her to our team."

Dallas guard Skylar Diggins-Smith had a career-high 35 points with 12 rebounds and six assists in the win at Indiana. Diggins-Smith vs. Phoenix's Diana Taurasi also figures to be an attractive matchup.

Taurasi turned 36 years old on Monday, a day after scoring 25 points in the win over Las Vegas.

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