Monday, September 25, 2023
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WNBA Preview: Phoenix Mercury (9-25) at Atlanta Dream (16-19)

The Phoenix Mercury travel to play the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday in College Park, Ga., knowing they will miss the playoffs for the first time in 10 seasons.

The 10-year run was the longest active streak in the WNBA.

Injuries and personnel issues have adversely affected the Mercury, who are 9-25 after losing their fifth straight game Sunday to the Dallas Wings at home.

Sophie Cunningham came away with a jaw injury near the end of Sunday’s loss. Diana Taurasi missed her second straight game after injuring her toe against the Indiana Fever on Aug. 20.

Shey Peddy remains in concussion protocol after a head injury earlier this month. Skylar Diggins-Smith has been out this season while on maternity leave.

Sunday marked the return of the Mercury’s Brittney Griner, who was out since Aug. 13 because of health and safety protocols. She finished with 19 points against the Wings.

Atlanta (16-19) has lost three straight games, 11 of its last 15 and is coming off an 83-80 loss at the Indiana Fever on Sunday.

The Dream were a half-game ahead of the eighth-place Los Angeles Sparks entering the week. Only five games remain in the regular season.

They rallied from a 16-point deficit in the first half against Indiana and led by 12 early in the fourth quarter before the Fever came back late.

Atlanta coach Tanisha Wright said she is looking for more consistency from her team.

Phoenix is 1-15 on the road this season. Atlanta is 9-8 at home.

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