Originally Published: September 10, 2017 10:50 p.m.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Brittney Griner had 26 points and nine rebounds, Diana Taurasi added 23 points, and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Connecticut Sun 88-83 on Sunday to reach the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs.
Taurasi moved to 11-0 in elimination playoff games.
Phoenix will play second-seeded Los Angeles on Tuesday night in Game 1 of a best-of-five series.
Phoenix made 3-pointers on three straight possession late in the fourth quarter to take an 84-79 lead. Leilani Mitchell started it with an open shot from the wing for a 78-76 lead. Taurasi came off a screen for another 3, and Monique Currie capped it with 2:31 left.
Connecticut, down 84-81, grabbed an offensive rebound and Shekinna Stricklen was fouled with 11.4 seconds left but she missed two free throws. Phoenix’s Camille Little grabbed the rebound and she made two free throws for a two-possession lead.
Currie and Mitchell each added 12 points for Phoenix.
Alyssa Thomas had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Jonquel Jones added 19 points and 15 rebounds for Connecticut. Jones had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first half to set a playoff franchise record for rebounds in a half.
Phoenix trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, but Taurasi’s layup in traffic pulled the Mercury to 45-38. Griner scored 11 of her 13 first-half points in the second quarter.
Griner made a baseline shot with 32 seconds left in the third for Phoenix’s first lead, 68-66, since 3-0.