Sacramento 92, Houston 64
Griffith Helps Monarchs Complete Sweep of Comets
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 19 (Ticker) -- Yolanda Griffith and the Sacramento Monarchs were not going to be denied another trip to the Western Conference finals.
Griffith scored 17 points and Rebekkah Brunson added 14 as the Monarchs rolled past the Houston Comets, 92-64, to sweep their best-of-three semifinal playoff series.
"We love playing here in Sacramento," Brunson said. "The fans are great, the atmosphere is great. They push us hard. We want to play well for them."
Posting a 93-78 victory in the opener of Thursday, the Monarchs took control in this one right before the half, using an 8-2 run to grab a 45-35 advantage. Brunson, who finished 5-of-9 from the field, scored the last six points.
Sacramento continued to roll after the break, pulling ahead 54-38 on a 3-pointer by Ticha Penicheiro with 6:56 remaining. Lawson added a shot from the arc just over a minute later and extended the lead to 67-47 on a driving layup with 62 seconds left in the third quarter.
"I thought it would be a lot closer," Brunson said about the sweep. "But they were great wins for us. We took care of business. Now we just have to stay focused and look forward to whoever we have face in the next round."
The Comets, who have been eliminated from the playoffs by the Monarchs in three of the past four years, got no closer than 17 points thereafter.
"If they shoot the ball like they did the last two games, nobody will beat them and they will repeat as WNBA champs," Houston coach Van Chancellor said. "To me, today they are the best team in the league. I thought that they were not playing as well at the (end of the regular season) but I should not have been fooled. They were just outstanding."
Erin Buescher, who was given the league's Most Improved Player award before the game, scored seven points for Sacramento, which will face either top seed Los Angeles or No. 4 Seattle for the right to return to the WNBA Finals.
Michelle Snow scored 16 points and Tina Thompson had 14 for Houston, which had 15 turnovers compared to just five for Sacramento.