Diana Taurasi scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, while Brittney Griner finished with a game-high 28 points and blocked A’ja Wilson on the final possession to secure the Phoenix Mercury’s Game 5 victory over the Las Vegas Aces and a spot in the championship round.
Shey Peddy broke a tie with two free throws in the final seconds as the Phoenix Mercury defeated the Las Vegas Aces 87-84 in front of a record crowd on Friday night to go to the WNBA Finals.
With 4.8 seconds remaining, Peddy was fouled while hitting a three-pointer and sank two of three free throws to give the fifth-seeded Mercury an 86-84 lead. Brittney Griner, who finished with a game-high 28 points, then blocked A’ja Wilson’s layup attempt and hit one of two free throws to give her team a three-point lead.
Kelsey Plum’s last-second three-point attempt from the backcourt fell short as time expired, ending the season of the second-seeded Aces in front of 9,680 people, the most ever for a Las Vegas home game.
Diana Taurasi scored 24 points, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter, as the 39-year-old Phoenix guard took over the game.
.@DianaTaurasi WENT OFF IN GAME 5 🔥
DT hit one clutch bucket after ANOTHER to help lead the @phoenixmercury to punch their ticket to WNBA Finals 💥
— WNBA (@WNBA) October 9, 2021
Peddy had 15 points and Skylar Diggins-Smith had 14 for the Mercury, who will host the sixth-seeded Chicago Sky in Game 1 of the Finals on Sunday.
Plum and Chelsea Gray each had 22 points to lead Las Vegas, while Wilson had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Liz Cambage had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Taurasi hit back-to-back three-pointers to spark a 12-point run early in the fourth quarter, giving the Mercury a 70-66 lead. Plum scored a layup to give the Aces their first points of the fourth after a four-minute drought, and she added a three-point play to put them up 75-73.
Phoenix knotted the game twice before Las Vegas took an 81-77 advantage with 2:27 remaining in a back-and-forth battle.
Griner made two baskets and Taurasi added a three-pointer to give Phoenix an 84-81 lead with less than a minute remaining before Gray tied the game with a three-pointer of her own. From the free-throw line, Peddy and Griner sealed a rematch of the 2014 Finals against the Chicago Sky.
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