Griner, Mercury Sweep Sparks Out Of Playoffs, 93-68
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brittney Griner scored a career playoff-high 21 points, including a breakaway two-handed dunk, and the Phoenix Mercury cruised to a 93-68 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks in Game 2 on Sunday night to complete a sweep in their Western Conference semifinals series.
Penny Taylor scored 17 points and Candice Dupree had 16 points and eight rebounds as Phoenix advanced to a matchup against defending champion Minnesota in the West finals.
Griner bounced back from a 2-for-11 shooting effort in the opener to go 9 for 9 from the field, setting a WNBA playoff record for most field goals without a miss. Her dunk midway through the third quarter stretched Phoenix’s lead to 25 points. It was the second-year star’s fifth career dunk, giving her nearly half of the 11 dunks in WNBA history.
Candace Parker scored 21 points to lead the Sparks, and Nneka Ogwumike had 14 points and six rebounds. It was the third straight season the Sparks were eliminated on their home floor and the third time in six seasons they were eliminated by Phoenix.
The Mercury never trailed and led 24-8 with 4:16 remaining in the first quarter. The lead was 21 late in the final minute of the second quarter before the Sparks cut it to 52-33 at halftime.
The Mercury led by double digits the entire second half.
Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi, coming off a playoff career-high 34-points in Game 1, finished with nine points on 3-for-11 shooting.
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