Brittney Griner scored 28 points and Shey Peddy broke a tie with two free throws in the final seconds as the visiting Phoenix Mercury held off the Las Vegas Aces 87-84 on Friday night to advance to the WNBA Finals.
The Mercury won the best-of-five series three games to two.
Peddy was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds left and made two of three free throws to give the fifth-seeded Mercury an 86-84 lead. Griner blocked A’ja Wilson’s layup and made one of two free throws for a three-point lead.
Kelsey Plum’s desperation 3-pointer from the backcourt failed as time expired, ending the second-seeded Aces’ season.
Diana Taurasi added 24 points, Peddy scored 15 and Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 14 for the Mercury, who will host the sixth-seeded Chicago Sky in Game 1 of the Finals on Sunday.
Plum and Chelsea Gray scored 22 points each, Wilson had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Liz Cambage had 10 points and 11 rebounds to lead Las Vegas.
Taurasi made back-to-back 3-pointers to lead a 12-point run at the start of the fourth quarter that gave the Mercury a 70-66 lead.
Plum sank a layup for the Aces’ first points of the quarter after a four-minute drought, and she added a three-point play that gave them a 75-73 lead.
Phoenix tied the score twice before Las Vegas took an 81-77 lead with 2:27 to go.
Griner made two baskets and Taurasi added a 3-pointer to give Phoenix an 84-81 lead with 1:12 left before Gray hit a tying 3-pointer.
Peddy’s basket started the third-quarter scoring and gave the Mercury a 46-42 lead before they went cold.
Wilson scored six points to lead the 14-0 run that gave the Aces a 56-46 lead.
Griner’s two free throws ended a five-minute scoring drought for Phoenix, but a field-goal drought dragged on for another two minutes before Taurasi’s basket cut the Aces’ lead to 60-52.
Gray’s basket gave Las Vegas a 66-58 lead at the end of the third quarter.
–Field Level Media