Cunningham, Turner lead Mercury to 83-82 win over Liberty

The upstart Liberty had tied the game on Betnijah Laney’s long 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left, but the Mercury got the ball to Turner underneath the basket on the ensuing inbounds play, forcing Sami Whitcomb to foul with 0.4 seconds remaining.

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Turner’s first free throw rimmed out but she calmly made the second, moving the fifth-seeded Mercury into the second round. Phoenix will play another single-elimination game at fourth-seeded Seattle on Sunday.

Sabrina Ionescu’s last-second heave didn’t come close for the eighth-seeded Liberty, who at at 12-20 had the worst regular-season winning percentage of any playoff team in WNBA history.

Skylar Diggins-Smith led Phoenix with 22 points and Brittney Griner had 16 포인트들, 10 rebounds and six assists. Turner had 12 포인트 9 리바운드.

Laney led New York with 25 포인트들, Natasha Howard had 16 포인트 및 10 리바운드, and Ionescu finished with 14 포인트 및 11 어시스트.

Phoenix hit eight of its first 10 shots to race to an 11-point lead, but by the end of the first quarter the Liberty had cut the deficit to 24-23. New York surged ahead by as many as six before leading 41-37 at the half.

Cunningham kept the Mercury in the game with 12 points in the third quarter, but they couldn’t shake the Liberty.

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