Minnesota 69, Phoenix 66
Lynx Slip Past Mercury, Clinch Playoff Berth
PHOENIX, Aug. 20 (Ticker) -- Katie Smith and Janell Burse each scored 16 points and played key roles in the final seconds as the Minnesota Lynx clinched the first postseason berth in team history with a 69-66 win over the Phoenix Mercury.
Minnesota (18-14) is in third place in the Western Conference, two games ahead of fifth-place Seattle with two games to play. Since the Lynx defeated the Storm three times this season, they hold the tie-breaker and earned the playoff spot.
The Mercury never led but used a 17-2 run to forge a 61-61 tie with 1:19 left. Anna DeForge, who led Phoenix with 18 points, scored eight during the surge. She nailed another 3-pointer to get the Mercury within 67-66 with 12 seconds left.
DeForge was 4-of-4 from beyond the arc to lead a 5-of-7 effort by Phoenix. The Mercury connected at 43 percent (26-of-60) from the field.
Minnesota, which got 12 points from reserve Sheri Sam, shot 47 percent (26-of-55).