WNBA: Kahleah Copper’s clutch 3-pointer lifts Mercury past Lynx

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Kahleah Copper’s 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds left to play sent the host Phoenix Mercury to an 81-80 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Friday in a Commissioner’s Cup game.

Copper, who used a screen from teammate Brittney Griner to get space for the winning shot, finished with 34 points in the victory for the Mercury (5-6). Griner played in her first game of the season after returning from a broken toe.

The Mercury rallied from a nine-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter and won despite the Lynx (7-3) getting 25 points from Kayla McBride and 20 points and 12 rebounds from Napheesa Collier.

Griner finished with 11 points in 21 minutes. Diana Taurasi added 12 points for the Mercury, who improved to 4-1 at home.

Down seven points midway through the third quarter, the Lynx began to hit 3-point shots. McBride hit a shot from long distance, part of a 15-3 run that gave Minnesota a 54-49 lead with 2:55 to play in the quarter.

McBride had four 3-pointers in the period.

Natisha Hiedeman hit a 3-pointer to give the Lynx a 70-61 lead at the 6:30 mark of the fourth quarter before the Mercury rallied.

After Bridget Carleton’s free throw gave the Lynx an 80-78 lead, Phoenix had 5.3 seconds left to answer. That was enough time for Copper.

Phoenix led 38-35 at halftime. Griner and Copper had nine points each in the first half for the Mercury. McBride had nine for Minnesota.

The Mercury led by as many as nine points in the first half. Griner, who started the game, got her first basket of the season when she cut to the rim and laid in a feed from Copper with 6:05 to go in the opening quarter.

The Lynx tied the score at 23 on a 3-pointer from Collier with 7:52 to play in the second quarter. Minnesota’s largest lead of the first half was a single point.

–Field Level Media

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