BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Rookie of the year Crystal Dangerfield scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half and Minnesota beat Phoenix 80-79 on Thursday night to advance to the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs.
Damiris Dantas led Minnesota with 22 points although she missed a pair of free throws with 6.1 seconds left giving Phoenix the chance to pull off another last-second postseason victory. With no timeouts left, the Mercury got the ball up the court bur Skylar Diggins-Smith’s shot was off the mark at the buzzer.
Two nights earlier, Shey Peddy made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in an 85-84 win over Washington in a first-round victory.
The loss was the first in eight career single-elimination playoff games for Diana Taurasi, She had 28 points and nine assists to lead the Mercury.
Alyssa Thomas added 19 points to lead five Sun players in double figures.
The Sun jumped out to a 22-8 lead and led from there after the Sparks shot just 21% in the opening quarter. The Sparks rallied within six before Connecticut finished the second quarter on a 10-0 run. It would have been 12 straight points except Bonner’s layup settled on the back of rim and remained there as the teams headed off the floor.
Candace Parker had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Sparks, who were without third-leading scorer Nneka Ogwumike, sidelined with a migraine.