Brittney Griner scored 23 factors and grabbed 16 rebounds and Diana Taurasi scored six factors in extra time because the Phoenix Mercury beat the Seattle Storm 85-80 in the second-round, single elimination WNBA playoff sport on Sunday.

Taurasi, a game-time determination after lacking the final 5 video games with a left ankle harm, hit a tying 3-pointer, a step-back jumper and a late free throw as Phoenix took over down the stretch.

The fifth-seeded Mercury open the best-of-five semifinal sequence No. 2 Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Fourth-seeded Seattle, taking part in with out prime scorer Breanna Stewart, opened the extra time with a Katie Lou Samuelson 3-pointer for a 76-73 lead. But from there the Storm struggled, making simply 2 of 11 the remainder of the best way.

The sport was tied at 78 when Taurasi, with an enormous brace on her ankle, hit from the left baseline to place Phoenix forward for good with 2:14 to play. She grimaced in ache going again on protection.

“You always want to play, you want to help your team,” Taurasi stated. “Both teams have battled all year. The ball went our way a little bit more tonight. You know how good Seattle is. Every time we come up here we get our (butt) kicked. We found a way to steal a few possessions and win.”

Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 20 factors for Phoenix. Taurasi had 14 factors, Brianna Turner additionally had a double=double with 12 factors and 12 rebounds and Kia Nurse 12 factors, together with two free throws to shut out the scoring with 15.8 seconds to play.

Samuelson led Seattle, the defending champions, with 18 factors and Sue Bird, Taurasi’s teammate at UConn and on 5 Olympic gold medal groups, scored 16.

“Trying to be Willis Reed over here,” Bird stated about Taurasi earlier than the 2 exchanged jerseys. “No one on my team understood that reference. Maybe that’s a sign. These fans are going to make me cry in about two seconds.”

The Storm crowd began chanting “one more year” because the 40-year-old four-time champion lined her face. Bird stated she’ll take time to determine whether or not she’ll proceed taking part in subsequent season.

Seattle beat Phoenix 94-85 10 days earlier, when Jewell Loyd matched a WNBA file with 22 factors in the primary quarter and completed with a career-high 37. This time the Mercury jumped out to a 12-point lead earlier than the Storm closed the half with a 15-0 run to lead 35-32 on the half. It stayed shut from there however Loyd, who scored 15 factors, made simply 5 of 24 photographs.