PHOENIX – Brittney Griner collected 23 points and 11 rebounds and the Phoenix Mercury defeated the defending league champion Minnesota Lynx 85-71 on Friday night in the opener of the best-of-three Western Conference finals.
Penny Taylor added 16 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Mercury, which built a 25-point lead in the third quarter. Minnesota reduced Phoenix’s lead to 10 in the fourth quarter but didn’t seriously threaten.
Game 2 is Sunday in Minneapolis.
Diana Taurasi added 17 points, six rebounds and five assists for Phoenix on a poor shooting night (5 of 15).
- Seahawks agree to contract extension with quarterback Russell Wilson
- Dustin Ackley trade symbolizes continuing dark days of Mariners
- Surviving Seattle’s sidewalks: Pedestrian rage rises as the population grows
- Mariners trade Mark Lowe to the Blue Jays for three minor leaguers
- Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner on contract talks: 'Now. That's my deadline'
Most Read Stories
Lindsay Whalen scored 25 points to lead the Lynx.
The Mercury limited Maya Moore, the league’s leading scorer and most valuable player, to nine points on 3-of-9 shooting.
“We have been so consistently good on the defensive end all season long and that was the key for us,” Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said.