Mercury Advance to Western Conference Finals
CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW TO VIEW VIDEO FEATURES
SAN ANTONIO (AP) Diana Taurasi scored 23 points and Tangela Smith added 16 for Phoenix in a 92-73 win Saturday over San Antonio, sweeping the Silver Stars in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Becky Hammon led the Silver Stars with 21 points and seven assists. Sophia Young had 15 points and Ruth Riley added 13.
Phoenix has eliminated San Antonio from the playoffs three times in four years. The previous two times - 2007 and 2009 - the Mercury went on to win the WNBA championship.
Candice Dupree scored 13 of her 19 points in the second half and had 11 rebounds for Phoenix. Penny Taylor added 12 points and 12 assists for the Mercury, who shot 53 percent from the field. Taurasi and Smith combined to make the Mercury's first nine shots as they sprinted to a 21-2 lead in the first 8 minutes.
Unlike Game 1, in which the Mercury gradually pulled away, this was a rout from the outset. The Silver Stars did not hit their second field goal until the 4-minute mark of the first period, when Becky Hammon drained a 3-pointer to make it 21-5.
Phoenix led 30-15 at the end of the first quarter.
San Antonio, hampered by the late-season loss of Chamique Holdsclaw because of a torn Achilles' tendon, was 5 of 17 from the field in the opening quarter.
San Antonio trimmed a 21-point second-quarter deficit to 48-30 by halftime. Even with a 19-8 run spanning the third and fourth periods, the Silver Stars got no closer than 12 the rest of the way.