Phoenix Mercury Clinches Playoff Berth
Despite falling to Eastern Conference-leading Indiana 110-90 tonight, the Phoenix Mercury clinched a playoff berth by way of Minnesota’s loss at Washington.
Making its sixth postseason appearance in franchise history, the defending champion has won the title in each of its last two playoff runs (did not qualify in 2008) and is the only professional sports team in the Valley to win multiple championships.
The Mercury returns seven players from last year’s title team and three players who were a part of both championships led by reigning WNBA MVP Diana Taurasi. Also named the 2009 WNBA Finals MVP, Taurasi, who has won a championship in each of her two postseason appearances, is looking to cement her legacy as one of the greatest female basketball players of all time by adding a third WNBA ring to her long list of championships that includes three NCAA titles with the University of Connecticut and two Olympic gold medals.
Also a constant in the Mercury’s title runs has been head coach Corey Gaines. The second winningest coach in franchise history, Gaines was an assistant under Paul Westhead in 2007 before taking the reins in 2008 and leading the club to its second title in just his second season at the helm. Gaines and the Mercury now look to become just the third team in WNBA history to repeat as champions.
Currently posting a 14-16 record, the Mercury sits in second place in the Western Conference with four games remaining in the regular season. Phoenix can help its cause for securing home court advantage throughout the Conference Semifinals with a win at New York tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on phoenixmercury.com via LiveAccess.
First round of the playoffs will begin on August 25-26, but first the Mercury returns to US Airways Center on August 20 for its final regular season home game at 7 p.m. vs. Seattle.
Tickets for the season finale and the entire playoff run can be purchased by calling 602-252-WNBA. Playoff tickets will be on sale for the general public beginning at noon on Monday, August 23. Fans can also sign up to become a member of Downtown Live and receive playoff ticket presale offers throughout the postseason.