Mercury Rising

Typically, two things signify the arrival of summertime in our city: blood-boiling, skin-prickling heat and the return of Phoenix Mercury basketball. Since thermometers have been blowing up around town lately, it must mean it’s time for Diana Taurasi and company to start shooting hoops.

There will be plenty of new faces in the lineup when the team hits the hardwood at US Airways Center, 201 East Jefferson Street, for their home opener against the San Antonio Silver Stars on Friday, June 17. The team’s braintrust made plenty of moves in the off-season, adding such utility players as Marie Ferdinand-Harris and Kara Braxton, plus cagey veterans like 6-foot-4 powerhouse Nakia Sanford and shooting guard Marie Ferdinand-Harris. Australia-born all-star Penny Taylor and scoring demons Dewana Bonner and Candace Dupree haven’t gone anywhere, however, and are back to make another run at the WNBA title.

Fri., June 17, 7 p.m., 2011
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Craig Smith