PHOENIX — Brittney Griner had 18 points and a WNBA playoff-record 11 blocks to lead the Phoenix Mercury to an 88-55 win over the Tulsa Shock on Thursday night in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.
Griner, named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season earlier in the day, also had eight rebounds and DeWanna Bonner added 15 points for the defending champion Mercury.
Griner, who led the league in blocks with 105 this season, broke her own single-game postseason record and shot 5 for 7 from the field and 8 for 9 on free throws.
The Mercury took control of the game in the second quarter, turning a seven-point lead to a 30-point advantage at halftime.
Odyssey Sims led Tulsa with 18 points and Jordan Hooper added 15 points and six rebounds.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Saturday in Tulsa.