SEATTLE – Brittney Griner had 29 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, and Leilani Mitchell hit two late 3-pointers to help the Phoenix Mercury hold off the Seattle Storm 75-71 on Sunday night.
Diana Taurasi scored 18 points, and Mitchell finished with 11 for Phoenix (16-16). The Mercury clinched a playoff berth earlier Sunday when the Chicago Sky lost to the New York Liberty, 92-62.
Mitchell hit a 3 to give Phoenix a two-point lead with 1:38 to play. Jewell Loyd answered with a layup but, after Griner and Loyd traded three-point plays, Mitchell made another 3 to make it 72-69 with 44 seconds left. Breanna Stewart hit two free throws to pull the Storm within one, and Taurasi hit a deep 3-pointer to cap the scoring with 15 seconds remaining.
The Mercury were 5 of 6 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter.
Loyd scored a career-high 33 points, and Stewart added 13 points and nine rebounds for Seattle (14-18).
Sue Bird finished with 10 points and three assists, improving her career assist number to 2,597. Bird needs just three more assists to break WNBA’s career record for assists, which is currently held by former player Ticha Penicheiro with 2,599.
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