Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi lead Mercury past Storm in overtime

9/26/2021 5:36:48 PM EST

Brittney Griner scored 23 points and took 16 rebounds, and Diana Taurasi scored six of her 14 points in overtime as the Phoenix Mercury outlasted the Seattle Storm 85-80 on Sunday afternoon in a single-elimination second-round playoff game in Everett, Wash.

The elimination game between two of the heavyweights of the league was a slugfest, going back and forth throughout before Taurasi, who had missed the previous five games with a left ankle injury, and Griner proved too much for Seattle in the extra period.

The fifth-seeded Mercury will play on the road against either top-seeded Connecticut or second-seeded Las Vegas in the best-of-five league semifinals beginning Tuesday.

The fourth period featured six ties, the final of which came on Bird's 3-pointer with 1 minute to play that knotted the game at 73. Skylar Diggins-Smith, who shot better than 82 percent from the line this season, missed two free throws with 40.8 seconds to play.

Jewell Loyd missed a driving layup for Seattle with 15.4 seconds to play, giving Phoenix a chance at the final shot. But Diggins-Smith's jumper in the lane was blocked by Mercedes Russell, sending the game into overtime.

Taurasi poured in a 3-pointer to tie the game at 76 with 3:39 left in overtime and then hit the go-ahead bucket a little more than a minute later to give Phoenix a lead it would not relinquish. Griner followed with a layup with 52.6 seconds to play.

Diggins-Smith added 20 points for the Mercury, with Brianna Turner and Kia Nurse scoring 12 each for Phoenix. The Mercury's starters scored all but four of the team's points in the win.

Katie Lou Samuelson led Seattle with 18 points while Sue Bird scored 16, Loyd had 15 (on 5 of 24 shooting) and Mercedes Russell racked up 10 points and 12 rebounds. The Storm, last season's league champions, failed to make the semifinals for the second time in the past three years.

The Mercury led 32-20 after a Griner putback at the 5:34 mark of the second quarter. That's when Seattle took over by scoring the final 15 points of the half, with Loyd scoring five points in that stretch before a Bird 3-pointer gave the Storm the lead on the way to a 35-32 advantage at intermission.

Loyd scored 10 points and grabbed a half-dozen rebounds in the first half for Seattle. Griner had 10 points and 6 rebounds at the break for Phoenix, which missed its final nine shots of the half

--Field Level Media


Thu, 21 Oct 2021 10:30:20 EST Colts S Julian Blackmon lands on IR with torn Achilles
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 03:13:50 EST Tom Brady takes aim at 600th TD pass as Bucs face Bears
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 21:14:12 EST Jared Goff returns to L.A. to face Matt Stafford-led Rams
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 20:31:09 EST Falcons eye .500 against beleaguered Dolphins
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 20:10:18 EST Thriving Carson Wentz leads Colts into San Francisco
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 20:39:24 EST Still missing Kliff Kingsbury, 6-0 Cardinals prep for sinking Texans
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 19:57:20 EST Packers look to light up Washington’s NFL-worst defense
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 19:14:39 EST Seahawks claim former UW QB Jacob Eason off waivers
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 19:35:18 EST Raiders set sights on road-happy Eagles
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 18:53:44 EST Uneven Chiefs have to contend with Derrick Henry, Titans


Thu, 21 Oct 2021 02:21:25 EST Braves eye World Series trip in Game 5 at L.A.
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 00:37:01 EST Dodgers 3B Justin Turner (hamstring) likely out for postseason
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 01:33:11 EST Deja vu: Braves take 3-1 NLCS lead on Dodgers
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 22:26:08 EST Astros bash Red Sox again, head home up 3-2 in ALCS
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 19:18:15 EST Braves scratch RH Huascar Ynoa for Game 4, replace him on NLCS roster
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 16:39:33 EST Brewers fire hitting coach Andy Haines
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 14:59:44 EST Dodgers favored to even NLCS with Braves in Game 4
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 14:53:40 EST Red Sox heavily backed to beat Astros in another slugfest
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 14:36:37 EST Mets RHP Carlos Carrasco recovering from elbow surgery
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 03:14:02 EST Astros carry momentum from late rally into Game 5 at Boston


Thu, 21 Oct 2021 10:14:39 EST When will Ben Simmons rejoin Sixers? Maybe Friday
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 02:09:56 EST NBA roundup: Knicks edge Celtics in double OT
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 01:54:30 EST Harrison Barnes scores career-high 36 as Kings beat Blazers
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 00:44:40 EST Nuggets open season with impressive road win over Suns
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 01:30:26 EST Rudy Gobert notches double-double as Jazz top Thunder
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 01:21:21 EST Vassell, Walker come off bench to lead Spurs over Magic
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 01:07:23 EST Timberwolves race past Rockets in high-scoring opener
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 00:12:46 EST 76ers take down Pelicans in season opener without Ben Simmons
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 23:48:47 EST Ja Morant scores 37 as Grizzlies down Cavaliers
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 00:16:00 EST Bradley Beal, Wizards spoil Raptors' return to Canada


Thu, 21 Oct 2021 01:02:37 EST Jordan Binnington, Blues cap 3-0-0 trip with win at Vegas
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 22:23:17 EST Cam Atkinson's two goals highlight Flyers' win over Bruins
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 21:11:40 EST Oilers, off to perfect start, open first trip vs. Coyotes
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 19:59:44 EST GM Marc Bergevin says Canadiens must 'fight through' struggles
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 19:23:16 EST Canucks, Blackhawks strive for complete efforts
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 18:05:16 EST Rangers, Predators find their footing ahead of matchup
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 17:14:55 EST Lucas Raymond, upstart Red Wings take on winless Flames
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 18:00:08 EST With 'dirty play' in mind, Ducks face Jets again
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 17:15:29 EST Panthers look to continue surge against slumping Avalanche
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 16:45:35 EST Canadiens hope to halt 0-4 slide against stellar Hurricanes