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Griner, Mercury grab last playoff spot

PHOENIX (AP) - Britney Griner had 12 of her 16 points in the second half and grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds to help the Phoenix Mercury beat San Antonio 83-80 Friday night, clinching the last playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Candice Dupree had 18 points and eight rebounds for Phoenix (16-13), which reached the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons after missing the postseason a year ago and then selecting Griner with the first overall pick in this year's WNBA draft.

Phoenix, which improved to 6-2 under interim coach Russ Pennell, led by 18 in the second half before San Antonio got within two in the in final minute. Diana Taurasi then made three of four free throws in the final 23 seconds to help secure the win.

Danielle Adams had 26 points, including nine in the final 3:34, and Jia Perkins added 14 for the Silver Stars (11-20), who have lost five of their last seven.

The Mercury lead fourth-place Seattle by 1 1/2 games and would face second-place Los Angeles in the first round.

Taurasi had 21 points and seven assists for Phoenix, which took advantage of San Antonio's poor shooting.

The Silver Stars made 37 percent from the field and were outrebounded 43-33.

Jayne Appel grabbed 17 rebounds for San Antonio before fouling out with 1:25 remaining.

The Mercury opened up an early 10-2 lead but San Antonio bounced back, sparked by Perkins' two 3-pointers to erase the lead.

But the Silver Stars only shot 35 percent from the field in the first half and the Mercury took a 42-32 advantage at the break behind Dupree's 12 points.

The teams' have split their four meetings this year.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
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