In her first game after spending some time in a Russian jail, Brittney Griner scored 18 points, four blocks, and six rebounds. However, her Phoenix Mercury lost to the LA Sparks during their season opener.
Griner passed to Moriah Jefferson, who scored a three-pointer for Mercury’s first basketball of the season. Griner also had several rebounds and points to help Phoenix get the lead early in the quarter.
Griner played 25 minutes. However, she spent most of the time on the bench when the game was already out of reach. According to people who bet on basketball, Russian authorities freed Griner last December as part of a prisoner swap.
Brittney Griner with the Phoenix Mercury
When Griner and the Mercury entered the floor during pregame warmups, they were met with a standing ovation, albeit the Sparks received the most applause.
Griner hugged Vice President Kamala Harris and First Lady Doug Emhoff as they exited the floor after Harris was given a No. 49 Sparks jersey. Harris has previously posed for pictures in the Mercury’s locker room.
According to basketball betting in Korea experts, Griner scored 10 points in 17 minutes against the Sparks in a preseason game last week. It was the 32-year-old center’s first game action since being detained at a Moscow airport in February 2022 after a search of her luggage discovered vape cartridges carrying cannabis oil, according to Russian officials.
Fans that arrived early at arena. Also, they wore T-shirts bearing Griner’s name and number. Before the game, the 6-foot-9 Griner paused to photobomb a group of young ladies standing courtside.
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