Phoenix will make first postseason trip since 2000

Mercury Clinch Playoff Berth

Posted: Aug. 3, 2007

The Phoenix Mercury put an end to the longest playoff drought in WNBA history and tonight officially punched their ticket to the 2007 WNBA Playoffs, the club’s first postseason berth since the 2000 season and fourth all-time.

“We have had our sights on a playoff berth since I joined the franchise last fall,” said Mercury General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale. “We’re thrilled for our players, staff and loyal fans to be advancing. That said, we remain focused because earning a spot in the postseason is just the first step toward realizing our franchise’s ultimate goal for this season.”

The Mercury became the first Western Conference team to earn a playoff spot and did it tonight without playing a game. Idle today after Thursday night’s win over Western Conference rival San Antonio, the team’s sixth consecutive, Phoenix clinched a playoff spot with a Friday loss by the fifth-place Los Angeles Sparks at Houston.

The fourth club in the franchise’s 11-year history to earn a postseason berth, the 2007 squad joins the 2000 team (20-12 regular season), 1998 (19-11) and 1997 (16-12) clubs.

The Mercury (18-10) have clinched back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1997-98, the franchise’s first two seasons, and, with six games left in the regular season, Phoenix has already matched its win total from 2006 and surpassed the marks of the 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001 clubs.

The league’s top offensive team for the second consecutive year, the Mercury are riding a season-high six-game win streak, the second-longest win streak in franchise history. In just a season-plus under head coach Paul Westhead, Phoenix has posted two win streaks of six or more games after not recording one in the team’s first nine seasons. The Mercury, who own the best record in the West, have also matched the highest win total through 28 games in franchise history with 18.

Armed with a trio of All-Stars, Phoenix features three of the WNBA’s top-12 scorers in guards Diana Taurasi (18.5, 4th-WNBA) and Cappie Pondexter (16.3, 12th) and forward Penny Taylor (17.2, 9th). No other team has two.

The 2007 WNBA Playoffs begin August 23 and tickets are now available to Mercury season ticket holders. Fans wishing to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public can become a member of Downtown Live to receive pre-sale notifications. To become a member, which is free of charge, fans can register online.

The Mercury return home Thursday, August 9 to face the New York Liberty at 7 p.m. at US Airways Center with Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano on hand to help celebrate the team’s regular season accomplishments. Phoenix is currently in the middle of a season-long four-game in 10-day road trip and has won the first two games on Tuesday at Houston and Thursday at San Antonio. Still remaining is a Saturday stop in Seattle and a Tuesday, August 7 meeting with the LA Sparks.

Tickets for all three remaining Mercury regular season home games are still available and can be purchased online.