Griner, Mitchell lead Mercury to cusp of playoff berth

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              Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier keeps the ball from going out of bounds during the first half of the team's WNBA basketball game against the Chicago Sky on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Minneapolis. (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Brittney Griner had 29 points and 14 rebounds, Leilani Mitchell added a career-high 29 points and Phoenix beat the New York Liberty 95-82 on Tuesday night, moving the Mercury a step closer to the playoffs.

Phoenix’s magic number for clinching a playoff spot was reduced to one. The Liberty (9-21) were eliminated from postseason contention.

Diana Taurasi, who was playing her second game since returning from a hamstring injury, had only two points, missing all seven of her shots. She did have 10 assists and four rebounds for the Mercury (14-15).

LYNX 93, SKY 85

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sylvia Fowles had a season-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, moving into third on the WNBA career rebounding list, and Minnesota beat Chicago to claim its ninth straight playoff berth.

Chicago guard Courtney Vandersloot also set a league record, breaking her single-season assists record on an inbounds pass to Diamond DeShields early in the third quarter. Vandersloot had five assists in the first quarter to tie her mark of 258 and she finished the game with 10.

Odyssey Sims had 23 points and eight assists for Minnesota (16-15), which swept Chicago this season.

Cheyenne Parker scored 22 points for Chicago (18-12).

MYSTICS 95, SPARKS 66

WASHINGTON (AP) — Aerial Powers scored 20 points, Elena Delle Donne added 14 and first-place Washington beat Los Angeles for its eighth straight home win.

Washington made six 3-pointers in the first quarter for a 33-22 lead and had nine at the break. The Mystics finished 11 of 35 from distance.

Natasha Cloud scored 15 points, Emma Meesseman had 12 and Ariel Atkins added 10 for Washington (22-8).

Candace Parker and Chelsea Gray each scored 12 points for Los Angeles (18-11).

FEVER 86, ACES 71

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Teaira McCowan had 24 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks to lead Indiana past Las Vegas.

McCowan became the first WNBA rookie with 20-plus points and 15-plus rebounds in back-to-back games.

Mitchell finished with 16 points, Candice Dupree had 13 and Tiffany Mitchell scored 12 for Indiana (11-19).

A’ja Wilson had 18 points and eight rebounds and Kelsey Plum added 17 points for Las Vegas (19-12).

SUN 89, STORM 70

SEATTLE (AP) — Alyssa Thomas had 22 points and 11 rebounds for her seventh double-double, Courtney Williams scored 17 points and Connecticut beat Seattle.

Connecticut (21-9) is a game behind first-place Washington. Seattle (15-15) has clinched a spot in the playoffs for a chance to repeat as champion.

Jonquel Jones added 10 points for Connecticut, which is 7-8 on the road this season.

Jewell Loyd scored 18 points for Seattle, which has lost four of five.