Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Temeka Johnson dropped 23 points in 22-plus
minutes to help the Seattle Storm climb back to .500 for the first time since
June 22 with an 81-73 win over the Phoenix Mercury.
Johnson, who was unable to finish the game after leaving with an injury, shot 7-of-10 from the floor and sunk all eight of her free throws as the Storm won their third straight game. Tina Thompson and Camille Little added 18 and 17 points, respectively, with the former also corralling seven rebounds.
DeWanna Bonner dropped 20 to pace the Mercury in defeat. Candice Dupree chipped in 17 and Diana Taurasi scored 16 points to go with a game-high seven assists.
After an even first quarter, Seattle opened up a 10-point halftime lead when it held the Mercury to just 2-of-10 from the field in the second period. The Storm meanwhile hit 4-of-5 from behind the arc in the quarter, with Shekinna Stricklen hitting both of her attempts, and led 44-34 at intermission.
Seattle held on late despite losing Johnson and defensive specialist Tanisha Wright to her sixth foul. The Storm did not make a field goal in the final 6:29 of action but took care of business at the free throw line, sinking 12- of-16 in the final frame.