PHOENIX (AP) — Brittney Griner and five other players were ejected after a fight broke out midway through the fourth quarter of Dallas’ 80-77 win over Phoenix on Saturday night.
With 6:23 left in the final period, Griner and Wings forward Kristine Anigwe got tangled up in the lane and a scuffle ensued. The Mercury’s 6-foot-8 center had to be restrained by an official at midcourt where she was still trying to get at Dallas players.
After about a 10-minute review, the officials ejected Griner, Diana Taurasi and Briann January from Phoenix. Taurasi was inactive for the game, but was tossed for leaving the bench area. Anigwe, Kayla Thornton and Kaela Davis were ejected for Dallas.
“Today I went on the court to make sure my teammate didn’t get jumped,” Taurasi said. “She got punched in the face and then someone ran on her back and threw punches at her face. I would do that 100 times out of 100 times.”
Griner didn’t comment after the game.
Phoenix was leading 71-68 at that point.
“Unfortunate about the fight,” Wings coach Brian Agler said. “Didn’t help either team, but you know those things are going to happen.”
Arike Ogunbowale scored Dallas’ first six points in an 8-2 run that gave the Wings a 79-77 lead when Isabelle Harrison took a steal coast-to-coast for a layup with 26 seconds to play. After an empty possession, the Mercury were forced to foul Ogunbowale, who finished with 23 points. She made the first free throw and missed the second, but chased down her own offensive rebound and the Wings dribbled out the final seconds.
The win snapped an 18-game road losing streak for Dallas dating back to July 12, 2018.
“It’s a good road win. We’ve been close several times just couldn’t get over the hump,” Agler said. “Tonight we made some plays down the stretch, hit some shots, made some good defensive plays.”
Allisha Gray added 16 points for the Wings (7-17).
Leilani Mitchell scored 23 points to lead the Mercury (11-12). Griner had 13 points, including her 12th dunk in the regular season, on her bobblehead night.