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Taurasi lifts Phoenix to 82-80 win over Lynx

PHOENIX (AP) — Diana Taurasi hit a 20-footer with 2.9 seconds left and Brittney Griner blocked a last-second layup by Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen to lift the Phoenix Mercury over the Minnesota Lynx 82-80 on Saturday night, snapping the Lynx' 11-game winning streak. The win gave Phoenix a 2 1-2 game lead over the Lynx going into the last week of the regular season. Candice Dupree made a driving layup with 25 seconds left to put Phoenix up 80-78. Minnesota's Maya Moore tied it with a runner over Brittney Griner with 7.9 seconds remaining, setting up the final sequence. Taurasi hit a shot from the top of the key to give Phoenix the lead. The Lynx (24-7) had one last chance, but Whalen's drive baseline was blocked by Griner, who finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. Moore led all scorers with 30 points while Taurasi, who signed a multiyear contract extension on Friday, had 24 for the Mercury (26-4). The Lynx had won 11 straight and 13 of 14 — the winning streak being the second longest in franchise history. Phoenix is 20-1 in its last 21 games with the lone loss coming at Minnesota. Phoenix took the lead with 4:15 left when Griner set a pick on Whalen, clearing the way for a Taurasi jumper. After Janel McCarville missed a 3-pointer, Taurasi led the break and hit another 17-footer. However, Augustus answered back with a pair of baskets to give Minnesota a 78-77 lead with 2:25 left. Minnesota led 64-61 going into the final period. In the third quarter, things got testy when Taurasi shoved Moore for the first of three fouls she picked up in the period. McCarville bumped Taurasi, leading the two of them to a standoff but the officials quickly jumped in and no additional fouls were called.

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