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Mercury Slip Past Liberty Thanks to Late Free Throw

Over eight ties and a dozen lead changes later, Mercury slipped past Liberty to survive the first round of the WNBA playoffs. 

The game went down to the wire, tied 82-82 with 2.7 seconds to go before Sami Whitcomb committed a shooting foul, sending Brianna Turner to the free-throw line with 0.4 seconds left. The Phoenix forward scored one of her two free throws, leading New York to call a timeout to piece together a plan to get a single shot off before the buzzer. 

Sabrina Ionescu lofted a 30-foot jumper following Mercury's 20-second timeout, but missed the three-point money shot. 

Here's who and what plays stood out Thursday night.

Phoenix had a dominant trio on full display. 

Brittney Griner tallied 16 points and snagged 10 rebounds in Phoenix's victory, matching both Skylar Diggins-Smith's powerful 22-point, five-assist performance and Sophie Cunningham's lethal shooting that led to 21 points of her own.

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Together, the trio tallied 59 of the team's 83 points.

Liberty Powerhouses Betnijah Laney, Natasha Howard and Ionescu

New York had three players pop off on Thursday night. Laney tallied 25 points while Howard snagged 10 rebounds and Ionescu passed off 11 assists—all leading the team against the Mercury.  

The second round of the WNBA playoffs is set.

Phoenix will play Seattle on Sunday for the second round while Chicago, who beat the Wings earlier Thursday evening, will face Minnesota. 

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