Washington, Phoenix win 1st-round games in WNBA playoffs
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 07, 2017 12:59 PM
Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (3) knocks the ball away from Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart during the first half of a first-round WNBA playoff basketball game, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
The Associated Press - Elena Delle Donne had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Emma Meesseman added 16 points as the Washington Mystics beat the Dallas Wings 86-76 on Wednesday in the first round of the WNBA playoffs.
In the other game Wednesday, Britney Griner had 23 points and 11 rebounds to help the Phoenix Mercury advance to the second round with a 79-69 victory over the Seattle Storm.
Washington will play New York and Phoenix takes on Connecticut in the second round on Sunday.
Minnesota and Los Angeles advanced directly to the semifinals and await the second-round winners.
Playing at home, Washington opened the second half on a 21-7 spurt, with eight points by Delle Donne, to take a 55-41 lead. But Dallas went on a 9-0 run in the fourth, capped by Skylar Diggins-Smith's fast-break layup, to pull to 71-67 with 3:13 left.
Washington's Tierra Ruffin-Pratt missed two free throws with 43.2 seconds left, but Krystal Thomas hustled to the offensive rebound. Delle Donne was fouled and put the Mystics ahead by six at the 38.7 mark.
The Mystics went 7 of 8 from the line the rest of the way to seal it.
Late in the fourth quarter at Tempe, Arizona, Diana Taurasi dribbled down the clock and found Leilani Mitchell for a corner 3-pointer on a cross-court pass for a 73-65 Phoenix lead. Seattle's Sue Bird answered with a long 3-pointer but Phoenix closed the game by making six straight free throws.
Taurasi only played seven minutes in the first half after picking up three fouls, but she finished with 14 points for Phoenix. In the second half, she became the second WNBA player to reach 1,000 career playoff points, joining Tamika Catchings.
Breanna Stewart led Seattle with 23 points and eight rebounds. Jewell Loyd was 0 for 7 from the field in the first half and finished with 17 points.