Storm stumble as Mercury win, even WNBA playoff series

SUNDAY, SEPT. 18, 2011

Candice Dupree scored 29 points and the host Phoenix Mercury beat the Seattle Storm 92-83 on Saturday night to even their Western Conference playoff series at a game apiece.

Diana Taurasi added 26 points as the Mercury recorded their second win in their last 12 games against the Storm dating to 2009.

Game 3 is Monday in Seattle.

Sue Bird had 17 points and four assists for the defending champion Storm, who had won their last eight playoff games.

Phoenix led by as many as 15 but Seattle ran off 10 straight points to get within five with 4:10 left.

Tanisha Wright sparked the late run with consecutive 3-pointers and a pair of free throws that trimmed the Mercury’s lead to 81-76. She finished with 18 points and four rebounds despite being hampered by foul trouble for much of the night.

Phoenix got layups from Taurasi and Dupree on the next two possessions to extend the lead and secure the win.

The Mercury outrebounded the Storm 37-24.

Liberty 87, Fever 72: Nicole Powell scored 19 points, Plenette Pierson had 15 and New York beat Indiana in Newark, N.J., to even their best-of-3 Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Cappie Pondexter scored 14, Essence Carson had 12 and Kia Vaughn 10 for New York, which bounced back from a 74-72 loss in Game 1. The Liberty shot 50 percent from the field (30 for 60).

Game 3 is Monday night in Indianapolis.

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