Essence Carson scored 20 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer, to lead all five Phoenix starters in double figures, and the Mercury rallied from 12 points down to beat the Las Vegas Aces 86-84 on Friday night.
It was Carson’s highest scoring total since a 21-point effort for the New York Liberty on June 5, 2013.
Brittney Griner and Yvonne Turner each had 18 points, Briann January was 5 of 5 from 3-point range and finished with 16 points, and DeWanna Bonner added 12 points and 12 rebounds for Phoenix (1-1). Turner also had a career-high 10 assists.
Bonner kicked it out to Carson for a 3 from the right side that gave the Mercury an 85-82 lead with 46.3 seconds to go and January made 1 of 2 free throws to make it a four-point game 29 seconds later. Kayla McBride made a driving layup to make it 86-84 with 12.6 seconds remaining and, after a turnover by Carson, missed a potential tying jumper.
The rebound went out of bounds and, after video review determined it was last touched by Bonner, it was Aces ball out of bounds with 6.6 seconds to play. A’ja Wilson — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft and the reigning Rookie of the Year — missed a jumper in the lane, got her own rebound and missed a putback and time expired.
McBride hit a short jumper to cap a 14-0 run that gave Las Vegas (1-1) 41-29 lead with four minutes left in the second quarter and the Aces led until Carson’s layup made it 69-67 with early in the fourth quarter.