Diggins-Smith scores 26 as Mercury beat Wings in 1st game without Charles

Tim Heitman / National Basketball Association / Getty

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 26 points, Diana Taurasi added 18 and Phoenix beat the Dallas Wings 83-72 on Saturday in the Mercury's first game without Tina Charles.

The Mercury announced earlier Saturday that they have parted ways with former MVP Tina Charles after just 18 games.

“After discussions with Tina and her agent, it was best for both parties to go our separate ways at this time,” Mercury general manager Jim Pitman said. “Due to circumstances both in and out of our control, our season has not gone according to our plan, and we will continue to pursue all avenues for improvement.”

Charles, the 2021 scoring champion, signed a one-year deal with Phoenix in February. The Mercury have played the whole season without All-Star center Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia on drug charges.

Diamond DeShields came off the bench to post 16 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix (7-12). Sophie Cunningham added 14 points.

Arike Ogunbowale led Dallas (9-10) with 25 points. Isabelle Harrison had 15 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out with 5:26 left in the game and the Wings trailing 66-65. Dallas fell to 4-6 at home.

Cunningham hit two 3-pointers and Diggins-Smith capped a 13-2 run with a three-point play to close out the first half and get the Mercury within 45-44.

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More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Diggins-Smith scores 26 as Mercury beat Wings in 1st game without Charles
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