DeWanna Bonner leads Mercury to game 3 win with 18 first-half points
Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi didn’t score until there was only 6:23 remaining in the do-or-die semifinals game three against the Seattle Storm.
Forward Stephanie Talbot missed the game with a concussion.
It didn’t matter. The Mercury, led by forward DeWanna Bonner’s 18 first half points and 27 total, ran away to an 86-66 win.
They will play game four in the best-of-five series on Sunday.
Instead of playing catch up, as they have been for most of the series, the Mercury jumped to a 17-6 lead early.
The Storm fought back, eventually taking a 31-30 lead, but Bonner scored eight points over the final four minutes of the half to help the Mercury get ahead.
Bonner put the Mercury up double-digits in the fourth with a steal and then an and-one layup.
DEWANNA GOING COAST-TO-COAST FOR THE AND-ONE!
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) September 1, 2018
Taurasi followed with a layup, her first basket of the game, as the Mercury turned a nine-point lead into a 14-point advantage.
She made a pair of threes late to ice the game.
While Taurasi only scored eight points — all in the fourth quarter — she also had seven rebounds and three blocks.
Bonner’s impact also went beyond draining shots. She had three blocks of her own to go with 11 boards.
Center Britney Griner went 10-for-15 from the field en route to 21 points and 11 rebounds.
She also had a block, which tied her for second on the WNBA’s all-time playoff list with 77. She’s well behind Lisa Leslie’s record of 132.
Guard Yvonne Turner scored 19 points and posted six assists, seven rebounds and three steals. She had a team-high plus-25.
No Storm player had more than 19 points. Forward Breanna Stewart, the league MVP, was held to 15 points.
The Mercury will play at home on Sunday and try to force the semifinals to a game five.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.