Griner, Taurasi lead Phoenix Mercury in win over Dream
PHOENIX — Brittney Griner had 33 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks, and Diana Taurasi added 27 points and a career-high-tying 14 assists to help the Phoenix Mercury beat the Atlanta Dream 104-95 on Friday night.
Phoenix (19-14) clinched a first-round home game in the playoffs. Atlanta (22-11) is tied for second place with Washington. The Dream play at Las Vegas on Sunday, and the Mystics close the season at Minnesota. The top-two seeds receive a double-bye in the playoffs.
DeWanna Bonner added 21 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists for Phoenix. Taurasi, who has back-to-back games with 14 assists, hit her 100th 3-pointer of the season early in the game. She’s the only player in WNBA history to reach the mark, led by her 121 3s in 2006.
Griner and Taurasi combined to score 35 of Phoenix’s 50 first-half points. Bonner and Briann January had the remaining 15 points. Phoenix’s first bench points came with 47.6 seconds left in the third quarter on Yvonne Turner’s corner 3-pointer for a 79-74 lead.
Alex Bentley made a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 24 points for Atlanta. Tiffany Hayes added 21. Brittney Sykes was given two technical fouls with 8:26 remaining in the third quarter and was ejected with 11 points.
Atlanta has not won in Phoenix in six seasons, losing seven straight.
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