SEATTLE – Tanisha Wright scored 21 points, and Camille Little had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm over the Phoenix Mercury 80-61 on Thursday night in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.
Lauren Jackson added 13 points, six rebounds and three blocks for Seattle, which led 69-42 after three quarters. Swin Cash added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Diana Taurasi, who averaged 21.6 for Phoenix to lead the WNBA in scoring for the fourth straight year, had just 11 points. She shot 3 of 11 from the field, including 1 of 5 on 3-pointers. Penny Taylor scored 13, and DeWanna Bonner added 10 – all in the first half – to lead the Mercury.
Phoenix will host Game 2 of the best-of-3 series on Saturday.
The game turned physical as Taurasi received a technical foul in the third quarter after kicking her leg at Wright after a foul by Wright. Little was given a technical in the second quarter after getting tangled with Taurasi.
Fever 74, Liberty 72: Erin Phillips made a turnaround jumper with 1.5 seconds left that gave Indiana a win over New York in the opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Indianapolis. New York will host Game 2 of the best-of-3 series on Saturday.