Phoenix Mercury recovered from a slow start to defeat the Washington Mystics

Phoenix Mercury showed why they are a team in the second half Thursday night.

Phoenix (11-15) beat the Washington Mystics (15-11), 80-75, in what turned out to be a back and forth battle in the final 20 minutes.

Mercury took the lead in the final eight minutes of the game and never surrendered again – unlike Tuesday’s double overtime loss to the Minnesota Lynx.

“Minnesota was a hell of a game when he came without a break,” Sophie Cunningham said. “Everyone except (Skylar Diggins-Smith) hadn’t played in a while, so one kind got us started, got us in rhythm, but today I think everyone played so solidly from top to bottom, and everyone contributed “And I think we’re just starting to find our rhythm a little bit. As we’re always said, we’re a team in the second half.”

Not much went right for Phoenix in the first 10 minutes. Phoenix’s first goal, a layup by Brianna Turner at the 9:16 mark, was taken back after the referees ruled that the ball did not leave Turner’s hand before the shot clock expired.

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