Brittney Griner Oct 13, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) shoots against the Chicago Sky during the first half of game two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night, WNBA superstar Brittney Griner made her official return to the court, playing her first game since mssing the entire WNBA season last year due to her detainment in Russia. But while it was certainy a celebratory night for everyone on both sides of the game, it didn’t go quite according to plan for Griner and the Phoenix Mercury.

While Brittney Griner was certainly the story of the night on Friday, the Los Angeles Sparks spoiled her return to the hardwood, defeating Griner and the Phoenix Mercury by a score of 94-71.

Despite the loss, however, Griner was successful in her return to the court. The WNBA superstar finished the game with a team-high 18 points along with six rebounds and four blocked shots during her 25 minutes of action.

But even though she didn’t get the win, the night was still about Griner.

“Every city we went last year, BG was the story,” Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard said after the game according to ESPN. “This year, it will be a story of joy, of happiness, of ‘welcome back.’ That positive energy I think will help our team.

“I’m so glad she’s home. It’s a miracle that she’s here. BG stands for so much, so many different kinds of people who can be undervalued in our society. And is even using her platform now to bring others home.”

Regardless of the outcome of the game, it’s safe to say her return to the court was a success and a celebration.