Phoenix, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – Diana Taurasi had 31 points, seven assists and five boards as the Phoenix Mercury ripped the Minnesota Lynx, 96-78 at US Airways Center in the decisive game of the WNBA Western Conference finals.
Britney Griner had 22 points, six rebounds and four assists while DeWanna Bonner and Candice Dupree each added 14 in the win.
A Bonner layup gave the Mercury a 10-8 lead and they never looked back.
The Lynx, after getting behind 32-23 early in the second quarter, used a 6-0 blast ignited by a Lindsay Whalen 3-pointer to cut their deficit to 35-34.
Taurasi and Griner combined for seven points to give Mercury a 50-40 lead before Whalen’s layup made in 50-42 at the half.
Maya Moore scored four while Seimone Augustus added a two-pointer as the Lynx tied the game at 67.
But Taurasi hit a jumper and then connected on a 50-foot 3-pointer to give the Mercury a five-point lead heading into the fourth.
Taurasi then scored Mercury’s first eight points of the fourth before Griner knocked in the next five points to make it an 18-point run.
The Lynx, who missed its first 10 shots of the fourth, fell behind 85-67 lead with 5:11 left in the game.
Whalen’s layup with 4:22 left finally gave the Lynx its first points of the quarter.
Anete Jekabsone-Zogota’s 3-pointer from 24 feet gave the Mercury its biggest lead at 96-74 with 45 seconds remaining.
Augustus, Whalen and Maya Moore scored 57 of the Lynx’s 78 points.
The Mercury will face the winner of Chicago Sky against Indiana Fever in the WNBA Finals.