Taurasi helps Mercury end Lynx winning streak
PHOENIX — Diana Taurasi scored 26 points and made a key steal in the final 20 seconds to help the Phoenix Mercury snap the Minnesota Lynx' franchise-best nine-game winning streak 85-80 on Tuesday.
DeWanna Bonner hit the second of two free throws with 36 seconds remaining to give Phoenix a 78-77 lead. On the Lynx' subsequent possession, Rebekkah Brunson had the ball on the baseline in traffic just a few feet from the basket but Taurasi knocked the ball away and was fouled. She hit two free throws with 19 seconds left to help Phoenix secure the victory.
Maya Moore scored 28 points and Seimone Augustus, who hit 8 of her first 9 shots, added 26 points to lead the Lynx, which had not lost since a 112-105 defeat to Phoenix on July 13. Minnesota leads the Western Conference over Phoenix and San Antonio by four games with a month left in the season.
The Mercury had lost five of their previous six games.
Penny Taylor had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists for Phoenix. Candice Dupree added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Mercury.
Moore and Augustus combined to make 19 of 30 from the field while the rest of the team shot 26 percent. Lindsay Whalen added 15 points and six assists.
Whalen hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the first five minutes of the game, the second putting her over 3,000 points in her eight-year career. She is the sixth player in WNBA history to reach 3,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in her career.
Augustus also passed the 3,000-point mark on Tuesday, tying Taurasi as the fastest player to reach the milestone (151 games). It marked the first time in league history a pair of teammates reached that plateau in the same game.
This was also the second time two players did it in the same game according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau that was provided to the WNBA. Sparks forward DeLisha Milton-Jones and Houston's Tamecka Dixon both got to 3,000 on July 20, 2007.
Moore hit two free throws with 4:19 to tie the game at 71 and the second of two with 48 seconds left to tie it at 77.
She hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to help the Lynx grab a 64-62 lead going into the final period.