Mercury, Wings look to escape recent doldrums

The Phoenix Mercury are out to regain lost momentum when they square off Wednesday against the struggling Dallas Wings at Arlington, Texas.

Both teams have six games to play before the WNBA takes a one-month break for the Paris Olympics.

Phoenix hits the road after an 83-72 home loss to Connecticut on Monday. The Mercury (9-10) have dropped two straight games and three of their past four after a stretch when they ran off four wins in five games.

Kahleah Copper and Brittney Griner poured in 21 points each to lead Phoenix in Monday’s defeat, with Natasha Cloud adding 18 points and 10 assists.

The Mercury shot 17.6 percent (3 of 17) from 3-point range and their bench was outscored 20-2. Phoenix was playing its third game in four days and was without the injured Diana Taurasi and Rebecca Allen, who both have back injuries.

“When we were kids, we would play three games in one day and we’d be exhausted. I feel the same way right now,” Cloud said. ” … The toll it takes on your body from playing 30-plus minutes is a lot. But you’re not going to hear any complaints from us – we showed up (against the Sun).”

Five of the Mercury’s six games before the break are on the road.

Dallas (4-15) heads home after losing back-to-back games at Seattle, with the latest setback a 95-71 decision Monday. The Wings have dropped 13 of their past 14 games — the outlier being a stunning home win over Minnesota on June 27.

Arike Ogunbowale scored a team-high 21 points for Dallas on Monday. It was Ogunbowale’s 16th game of the season with 20 or more points in 18 tries. Natasha Howard added 15 points and Odyssey Sims hit for 12 in Monday’s loss, when the Wings were outscored 34-13 in the third quarter.

Dallas, which has struggled with injuries, is tied with Washington for the worst record in the league after winning 22 games last season.

Howard missed 12 games earlier this season with a broken foot, while All-Star Satou Sabally has not suited up for the Wings after hurting her shoulder during Olympic qualifying in February.

“You can’t control what happens with injuries,” Ogunbowale said. “We just have to keep fighting through, and we have what it takes to be a good team. We’re just going to keep adding people back and keep getting better.”

The teams have split their first two meetings this season. Dallas won 107-92 in Phoenix on May 25, while the Mercury outlasted the Wings in a 97-90 double-overtime road victory on June 9.

–Field Level Media