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Brittney Griner's jumper lifts Mercury over Sparks in WNBA Playoffs

Photo: Noah Graham/Getty Images

Brittney Griner celebrates after sinking a game-winning jumper on Monday night in L.A.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Brittney Griner hit a turnaround jumper with 4.9 seconds left, lifting the Phoenix Mercury to a 78-77 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday night in the deciding Game 3 of their WNBA playoff series.

Candice Dupree scored 22 points, Dewanna Bonner added 19, and Diana Taurasi had 18 points and 10 assists while improving to 6-0 in career elimination games with the Mercury.

Phoenix advanced to the Western Conference finals against top-seeded Minnesota. Game 1 is Thursday.

Kristi Toliver led the Sparks with 22 points. WNBA MVP Candace Parker added 18 points, and Nneka Ogwumike had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

After Parker gave the Sparks just their second lead of the fourth on a layup with 7 seconds to go, Griner responded with the winning basket for the Mercury.

Parker missed a fling from the wing after getting trapped in the right corner as time expired, dashing her hopes of adding her first WNBA championship to her collection of NCAA titles and Olympic gold medals.

DREAM 80, MYSTICS 72

ATLANTA (AP) -- Erika de Souza scored 10 of her 18 points during a decisive fourth quarter and the Dream beat the Mystics in the decisive Game 3 of their WNBA first-round series.

The Dream advanced to face the fourth-seeded Indiana Fever in the Eastern Conference finals, which will begin Thursday in Atlanta. The Fever, who won the WNBA title last season, eliminated top-seeded Chicago in two games.

Tiffany Hayes had 18 points and Armintie Herrington added 14 points for the Dream, while Monique Currie led the Mystics with 22 points.

The Dream trailed 57-55 after three quarters, but a 15-2 run early in the fourth quarter put Atlanta in position to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the third time in four years. De Souza had six points during the run, emotionally gesturing to the crowd as Atlanta took control.

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