Perhaps Sandy Brondello had the perfect explanation for the Phoenix Mercury’s 68-58 season-opening loss Sunday to the Dallas Wings.

“We looked like a team that hadn’t played that much together,” the fourth-year Mercury coach said.

And, of course, they haven’t. Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner are the only returning players from 2016 and even Taurasi, after hitting her first shot, missed her next 10 in one of her worst career shooting performances.

“I was just terrible, I couldn’t make a shot,” said Taurasi, who barring a lot more similar games will break the WNBA career scoring record this season. “I could tell you I wasn’t following through, I had no legs, I wasn’t catching it right. I had some good looks I feel like I usually make, but I’m good.

“Some of them were forced and not great looks. I probably maybe just should have stopped shooting. Sometimes you’ve got to keep being aggressive to get yourself out of it.”

Taurasi said she’s more focused on “getting the synergy going with everyone.” She and Griner have 10 new teammates although three reserves were with the Mercury in 2014 or 2015.

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The biggest issue was rebounding. Dallas had a massive 41-17 advantage with a 25-8 edge in the second half when the Wings overcame a 34-32 halftime deficit before 9,640 at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Dallas forward Glory Johnson had almost as many boards (14) as the entire Mercury squad, which tied the franchise’s record for fewest rebounds.

“You have to get a mindset,” Brondello said. “It’s not just the post players. This was our Achilles last year against them (when Dallas won three of four games). We have to get a little bit more physical. Glory Johnson goes and smashes the boards. It’s easy if she’s not getting hit. Our 1-on-1 defense could have been better, (Kaela) Davis in particular. We were over-helping on her trying to keep her in front and they throw it out then we’re out of position. If we can contain them a little better, I think our rebounding will improve.”

Mercury center Griner had 18 points but only two rebounds. Rookie Stephanie Talbot and Cayla George off the bench led with five boards. Talbot played just 15 minutes due to foul trouble. Forward Camille Little had 11 points and no rebounds.

“It’s a joint effort,” Griner said. “We all have to make that effort. I was a victim of it tonight, standing and watching, shot goes up I start looking instead of going.”

The Mercury will see Dallas again soon on May 27. Up next is a home game against Indiana on Wednesday.

Davis and Allisha Gray, rookies out of NCAA champion South Carolina drafted in the first round, combined for 31 points for Dallas. Davis was 6-of-10 and 8-of-8 on free throws.

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The Wings stretched their two-point lead after three quarters to five (54-49) with 6:23 remaining.

The Mercury picked up their intensity coming out of a timeout with Griner converting a three-point play. Dallas went back ahead 60-54 with 4:14 left on a Skylar Diggins-Smith floater.

Taurasi dropped to 1-of-10 shooting by missing a 3-point try then Griner picked up her fifth foul with Diggins-Smith hitting two free throws for an eight-point lead.

Talbot missed two free throws at 3:03 then a Davis banker and Wings’ breakaway pushed the lead to 12 (66-54) at 2:19.

Little scored five points early in the third quarter for a 39-34 Mercury lead. The Wings answered with an 11-0 run to lead 45-39 before Leilani Mitchell made consecutive 3-pointers for Phoenix.

Dallas led 49-47 at the end of the third with Taurasi then just 1-of-8 from the floor.

The Mercury bolted to a 10-1 lead with Griner scoring three and Taurasi hitting a 3-pointer.

That proved to be Taurasi’s only bucket of the first half, though, as Dallas erased an 11-point deficit (16-5) thanks largely to a 10-0 in the late first/early second quarter.

The Stars led by as many as four (28-24) before the Mercury edged ahead 34-32 at halftime on an 18-footer by Danielle Robinson with four seconds left. Robinson finished with nine assists in her Mercury debut.