WNBA: Mercury smash Aces to seize 2-1 series lead

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Brianna Turner and Brittney Griner each had a double-double as the host Phoenix Mercury routed the Las Vegas Aces 87-60 to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five WNBA semifinal playoff series Sunday afternoon.

Turner had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and Griner had 18 points and 11 boards as the fifth-seeded Mercury won their second straight game against the second-seeded Aces.

Shey Peddy came off the bench to add 10 points for Phoenix, which will host Game 4 on Wednesday night.

Liz Cambage scored 13 points and Dearica Hamby added 10 off the bench to lead the Aces, who started slowly for the third straight game in the series. Las Vegas shot just 30.9 percent from the floor and was outrebounded 58-29.

Kia Nurse started the third-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer and Griner added a basket that gave the Mercury a 51-31 lead.

The closest the Aces could get in the quarter was 16 points before Peddy’s buzzer-beating basket gave Phoenix 72-52 lead at the end of the period.

Peddy’s four-point play completed a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter that put the Mercury in command with a 27-point lead.

Diana Taurasi, who had a career playoff-high 37 points in Game 2, finished with just nine points, but she picked up where she left off Thursday night by making two 3-pointers as Phoenix took an 11-0 lead.

Hamby ended the run with consecutive baskets before the Mercury regained an 11-point lead at 24-13 on a basket by Peddy.

Cambage made a 3-pointer to pull Vegas within 26-19 at the end of the period.

Riquna Williams’ basket started the second-quarter scoring and got the Aces within five points before Turner scored six during an 11-0 run that gave the Mercury a 46-27 lead.

Chelsea Gray’s jumper trimmed the Phoenix lead to 46-31 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

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