Monday, June 17, 2024

Sun hold Mercury to 47 points: All the numbers from the lowest-scoring night in nearly a decade

Led by Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner, the Connecticut Sun have been one of the most consistent teams in the league for years, in large part because of their defensive prowess. Their 6-0 start this season — the best in franchise history — and dominant 70-47 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night just reinforces the notion of how elite they really are. 

Even by their high standards, the defensive work they did against the Mercury, who entered with the fourth-best offense in the league, was incredible. Here’s a look at all the numbers you need to know from a historic night in Uncasville. 


A few days ago in their loss to the Dallas Wings, the Mercury scored 34 points in the third quarter. Against the Sun, they managed 47 for the entire game. That was the lowest scoring game in the WNBA since the San Antonio Stars scored 45 in a loss to the New York Liberty in 2015. From a team standpoint, it was the fewest points the Mercury have scored since 2012, when they had 47 in a loss to the San Antonio Stars, the team now known as the Las Vegas Aces. 


New Mercury head coach Nate Tibbets has transformed the team’s offensive system and emphasizes spacing and shooting. After finishing eighth in the league in 3-point attempts per game last season with 20.7, the Mercury are second thus far this season at 31.2. 

That’s led to some big offensive nights, such as a win over the champion Aces. But a high diet of 3s can lead to nights of feasts or nights of famine, and Tuesday was the latter. The Mercury shot 1 of 27 from behind the arc, with the only make coming from Mikiah Herbert Harrigan early in the second quarter. While they missed some shots they normally make, the Sun did a great job contesting and making them uncomfortable. 

Phoenix is the first team to make one or fewer 3s in a game since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2022. Furthermore, their one make is the fewest ever by a team in a game where they attempted at least 20 3s, let alone 25. 


The Mercury weren’t any good inside the arc either. They shot 15 of 63 from the field, which comes out to 23.8%. Here’s just a few notes on where that stands. 

  • Worst single-game field goal percentage in franchise history
  • Tied for the 11th-worst single-game field-goal percentage all-time
  • First team to shoot under 25% in a game since the Wings in 2022


The Mercury didn’t have a single player finish in double figures, and the leading scorer for the game was Natasha Cloud with nine points. This was fourth time in franchise history that they did not have a scorer in double digits. The most recent occasion was over a decade ago in 2013 in a loss to the Sparks.

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