Basketball News: Diana Taurasi scored 37 points in the first round of the playoffs, and the Phoenix Mercury never trailed in a 117-91 victory over the Las Vegas Aces on Friday morning.
Taurasi, who was playing in only her third game back from a five-game hiatus due to an ankle injury, made 10 of 13 field goals, including 8 of 11 from three-point range, and all nine of her free throws to help tie the semi-final series at one.
Brittney Griner scored 16 of her 25 points in the opening quarter as the fifth-seeded Mercury jumped out to a quick start for the second straight game and never looked back. They hit 60.6 per cent of their shots from the field, including 53.8 per cent of their three-point tries.
Skylar Diggins-Smith had 17 points, while Kia Nurse and Shey Peddy each had 11 for Phoenix, which will now host Game 3 on Sunday evening.
Kelsey Plum, the newly elected Sixth Player of the Year, led the second-seeded Aces with 25 points, Riquna Williams added 17, Liz Cambage had 13, A’ja Wilson had 12, and Chelsea Gray and Jackie Young each had ten.
"I only shot 11?!"
— WNBA (@WNBA) October 1, 2021
Connecticut Sun vs. Chicago Sky level series
The other semi-final series was also knotted 1-1 after Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner each scored 15 points in Game 2 as the top-seeded Connecticut Sun defeated the sixth-seeded Chicago Sky 79-68.
Thomas had 11 rebounds and six assists, while Bonner got eight rebounds. The Sun triumphed despite WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones’s poor performance, as he finished with four points on 2-of-9 shooting and seven rebounds.
Connecticut’s Jasmine Thomas and Briann January each scored 12 points, while Brionna Jones added 11 for the Huskies, who rebounded from a 101-95 double-overtime loss to Chicago in Game 1 on Tuesday night.
“It’s just about defending our home court,” Alyssa Thomas said on ESPN2. “We didn’t put up a show in the previous game. We got off to a slow start today. My duty is to bring enthusiasm all year, and that was my goal today.”
Kahleah Copper led the Sky with 13 points, Candace Parker had 12 points and seven rebounds, Courtney Vandersloot and Azura Stevens each had 10 points, and Allie Quigley had eight.
After winning back-to-back single-elimination games to reach the semi-finals and then stunning the Sun in the series opener, the Sky suffered their first loss of the 2021 playoffs.
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