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Mercury Eliminate Defending Champion Storm, Advance to Semis Behind Griner's Double-Double

Behind Brittney Griner's 23 points and 16 rebounds, the Mercury eliminated the defending WNBA champions with a thrilling 85–80 overtime victory over the Storm.  

All five of Phoenix's starters finished the afternoon with double figures in points, including double-doubles from Griner and Brianna Turner. 

After Jewell Loyd torched the Mercury for 37 points in the regular-season finale, Phoenix held the three-time WNBA All-Star to just 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Katie Lou Samuelson led the way for Seattle with 18 points. 

But the Storm were without reigning WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart, who was averaging 20.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season, due to a foot injury. 

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Seattle's Mercedes Russell came up with a dramatic block on Skylar Diggins-Smith's last-second drive to force overtime. But the Mercury pulled away thanks to six points from Diana Taurasi in the extra period.

The Mercury led by as many as 12 in the first half but were held to only nine points in the second quarter—they scored more in overtime (12) than in the entire second quarter.

Sue Bird moved into 18th on the WNBA all-time playoff scoring list with her 16 points as fans serenaded the Seattle legend with chants of "one more year" during her postgame interview. 

It's the second straight nail-biting win for the Mercury after an 83–82 win over the Liberty in the first elimination game. Phoenix will now go on to face either the top-seeded Sun or the Aces in the semifinals. 

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