Mercury tame Lynx, lead series 1-0 in best of three

Gino Valdez, Reporter

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The Phoenix Mercury led the league in scoring, averaging 83.5 points, while the Minnesota Lynx finished second with 81.6 points. Also, The Phoenix Mercury set a WNBA record in field goal percentage with 48.4 percent while Minnesota finished second with 46.7. The Lynx finished first in the league in assists with 20.26 a game while the Mercury finished second with 19.44.

The Minnesota Lynx are defending WNBA champions and have reached the Finals the last three years with winning the WNBA title in 2011 and 2013. The Mercury are no strangers to titles, having won in 2007, 2009 and are eager to get back to the finals. and standing in their way is the Lynx, who have been the “Achilles heel” the Mercury are o-4 and with a win tonight will snap a six game Western Conference Finals losing streak that dates back to 2010.

Brittney Garner started off the game hitting her first two shots followed up by a 3 pointer by DeWanna Bonner and the Mercury quickly jumped out to a 7-0 lead and forcing the Lynx to call their first time out, after only a minute and a half of play. The Mercury started the game off going 5/5 from the field. After a back and forth battle with each team committing unprecedented turnovers the Mercury ending the 1st quarter leading 23-20. The Mercury had 6 turnovers while the Lynx had 5. Although only leading by 3, the Mercury shot 62.5% from the field and the Lynx 45%.

Brittany Griner led the Mercury with 12 points and held the Lynx’s MVP winner Maya Moore to only 2 points in the first half with Moore going 1 of 6 from the field.

The 3rd quarter started with fire and intensity on both sides with the Lynx unable to stay par with the Mercury and with 5:49 and an official timeout the Mercury took the lead with its biggest in the game 53-39 leading by 14. Less than a minute back from the timeout, the Mercury with their biggest lead of the game, led by 18 points, 57-39. With a total of 12 turnovers by the Lynx at this point in the game and the Mercury converting 23 points off those turnovers with their biggest lead of the game lead 63-39, and finishing the 3rd quarter leading 67-47.

With a 20 point lead going into the fourth quarter it would like an easy win and a blowout at home, the defending champions, the Lynx would have none of that cutting the lead to 11, 74-63. Brittney Griner had a career playoff high in points and led the Mercury with 23 and 11 rebounds. Penny Taylor also set a career playoff high in rebounds with 13 and was on a verge of recording a triple-double and finished the night with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists. The Mercury hold off the Lynx and win 85-71.

“We have to duplicate the things we did well” Taurasi stated, “And the things they hurt us more in the second half we’ll have to look at those things and make adjustments.” Diana finished the game with another solid performance with 17 points. Game two is played in Minnesota and the Lynx will have to play hard to avoid being eliminated from the playoffs and their season ending.


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