Mercury top Liberty, clinch No. 1 seed in West
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Candice Dupree scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and the Phoenix Mercury beat the New York Liberty 76-64 on Tuesday to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and secure home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Brittney Griner also picked up a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards, while Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor and Erin Phillips all scored in double digits for the Mercury, who have won five in a row and have lost just once since June 15.
With three games left, Phoenix (27-4) moved within one win of tying the WNBA single-season record set by Seattle in 2010.
Tina Charles led the Liberty with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Cappie Pondexter added 12 points for New York, which is one game behind Indiana for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Liberty's only lead of the game lasted for 17 seconds. Charles hit a fadeaway for the first points of the game, but Taylor countered with a 3- pointer.
Essence Carson brought New York within three points with 3:31 left in the first half, but Phoenix went on a 10-0 run to go into the break ahead 43-30.
DeWanna Bonner gave the Mercury their biggest lead of the night, 18 points, by hitting a driving layup with 4:02 left in the fourth quarter. Phoenix cruised to the victory from there.
08/12 21:47:48 ET