Brittney Griner scores 19 points for the Phoenix Mercury in 90-81 win against the Minnesota Lynx

Brittney Griner stars as Phoenix Mercury clinch their first win of the WNBA season with 19 points in 90-81 win over Minnesota Lynx

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Britney Griner starred in the Phoenix Mercury’s first win of the new WNBA season, as the center, who was detained in a Russian prison labor camp for 10 months, scored 19 points in a 90-81 win over the Minnesota Lynx. 

The 32-year-old was four points shy of Phoenix’s top scorer of the night – guard Diane Taurasi – on Thursday. She also put up eight rebounds and one assist.

Griner – a seven-time All-Star – continues to provide a ratings boost for the league, six months after returning to US soil following her imprisonment in Russia for being in possession of cannabis oil at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in February, 2022.

She looked in top form in Sunday’s 75-69 loss to the Chicago Sky by contributing 27 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. She also was bombarded with emotions while being greeted warmly in her first home game since the 2021 season.

‘It was really good,’ Griner said afterward. ‘Part of the process of healing is just kind of letting it out. So, yeah, I got choked up a little bit.’

Brittney Griner’s focus was razor sharp on Thursday as she got Phoenix its first win of the year

Griner, who attended the Met Gala and the White House earlier in May, also put up 18 points, six rebounds and two assists against the LA Sparks in Phoenix’s WNBA season opener on May 19.

More to follow…