Brittney Griner bounced back from a poor performance in Game One and helped the Phoenix Mercury sweep the Los Angeles Sparks out of the 2014 WNBA playoffs. The Mercury tallied a 93-68 victory over the Sparks on Aug. 24, behind Griner’s career-high 21 point performance.
Griner, who threw down the first dunk in WNBA playoff history in the third quarter, was a perfect 9-of-9 from the floor. Her shooting performance, which set a WNBA playoff record for most field goals without a miss, was a far cry from the dismal 2-of-11 shooting in Game One of the series..
''I played (terrible) that game and I didn't help my team at all,'' Griner said of Game 1. ''I definitely wanted to come out and establish myself down in the paint and help my team out. The coaches did a good job getting us ready and letting us know that we definitely needed to bring it here in L.A. I think we did that.''
Griner opened the game with two free throws and a layup, and Phoenix never looked back. Candice Dupree's jumper three minutes in made it 14-4 and the Mercury led 30-14 after the first quarter. The lead was 21 late in the final minute of the second quarter before the Sparks cut it to 52-33 at halftime.
The Mercury led by as much as 30 points in the fourth quarter.
Penny Taylor and Dupree had 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Candace Parker scored 21 points for Los Angeles, and Nneka Ogwumike contributed 14.
Phoenix, which set a WNBA record with 29 regular season victories, will now battle the Minnesota Lynx in the Western Conference Finals. The Mercury won three-of-four meetings with the Lynx this season.